We crowded around the incubator, with our faces pressed closely to the glass. Please do not lean against the dome was written underneath us. We continued to watch intently. At first my eyes went to the yellow fuzzy chicks prancing around without a mother hen in sight.
“Look, that chick has poo on it’s butt!!” My student replied. The other kids laughed.
We continued to stare quietly. I took out my iPhone and quickly pressed the red square button to record. As the phone started to record, it was still quiet. There were a few other kids and adults from the museum who were gathered around the clear dome, fascinated, but quickly left after 5 minutes. We continued to stare at the one brown egg in the middle, with a 3cm sized hole in the top. Every 30 seconds or so we would see small movement. From my angle, I could see something white moving around inside the tiny hole. My students and I anxiously waited.
“You can do it!” We chanted.
“What should we name the chick?” I asked my students. “What about Emily? It’s Emily’s birthday today.”
“YES!” My kids responded in unison.
“What if it’s a boy?” I asked. They thought about it for a while. They listed a few different typical boy names. “What about lightning?” I suggested. There had been a loud sound from the other exhibit where there was an electricity show going on. They had created lightening and it was making an awfully loud noise that was ruining our serene moment of egg watching.
As we continued to watch, our time was dwindling. We had to be back outside for lunch, and it honestly didn’t look like our egg was going to hatch within the next 15 minutes or even in the next few hours.
One of my students started opening up his bag. I wondered what he would be taking out. A phone to take photos? To my surprise, he took out his writer’s notebook. He turned to the page where we had listed turning points in our lives, a strategy to collect ideas for personal narratives. He added to his list of first times: seeing an egg hatch.
Even though he accidentally brought his writer’s notebook with him on the field trip, I loved that he took it out in the middle of the science center. These are the moments that writing teachers live for.
Later that evening, I sent my students a video clip of the egg hatching from the trip. One of students appropriately responded back with, “The gift of life!”.
For more slice of life posts, go to Two Writing Teachers.