Lesson Plan: Conscious Consumerism – Egg Production

Last updated: January 25, 2013

1 comment

A dozen multi coloured eggs in a nest in the bush

Technology Level: Classroom Based

Audience: Ages 9-13

Duration: 1 hour

Objective:

Today in supermarkets, there are dozens of types of eggs available, all with different packets and advertisements. This lesson aims to introduce students to the various styles of commercial egg production, and teach them how to differentiate between the types of eggs on the market.

Prior knowledge

Prior to this lesson, have students go home and do some research on the egg packaging in their household. Alternatively you could have your students head to their local supermarket and do some research on the different types of eggs available there. They are to write down all the words, slogans and/or phrases that they can see on the egg packaging and bring the information to today’s lesson.

Materials:

  • colour in pencils
  • (Optional) Different varieties of egg cartons for the students to look at.

Resources

  1. RSPCA Handout: Where do eggs come from?
  2. Extension Activity: A Day in the life of…
  3. RSPCA Campaign Poster: It’s Your Choice – Battery Hens

Procedure:

Lesson Procedure
Topic Notes
1. Introduction  
1.1 (10 mins) 1.1 Homework check! What did the students discover from their homework? Brainstorm on the board the words discovered. Answers will include:

  • farm fresh
  • barn laid
  • free range
  • caged eggs
  • organic eggs
  • vegetarian eggs
  • logos
  • nutritional guides (including heart foundation tick)
  • where the eggs have come from
  • the company who has sold the eggs to the supermarket

Discuss with the group what they think this all means. Does this mean that these eggs have been laid by different sorts of chickens? For example, do white chickens lay farm fresh eggs and brown chickens lay a different sort? These are all eggs from chickens – so what does all this mean?

2. Body  
2.1 (10 mins)

2.1 Activity 1: What do chickens need?

What types of things would you have to think about if you were going to keep chickens in your backyard? Make a list of all the things chickens need to be healthy. Think about: food, water, space, light and shade and protection.

Answers should include:

  • Food (dry food and fresh scraps)
  • Fresh water every day
  • A place to roost – chickens like to sit on perches above the ground (it makes them feel safe from foxes and other unfriendly animals)
  • A place to lay their eggs – chickens like to make little nests out of wood shavings or similar and leaves.
  • Space to walk around – chickens don’t like being too crowded!
  • Plenty of litter, wood shavings or similar for chickens to peck and look for food in.
  • Plenty of litter, wood shavings or similar for the chickens to have dust baths in!
  • Plenty of light and shade.
  • A way to protect them from foxes and cats and dogs
  • Other chickens for company
2.2 (15 mins)

2.2 Activity 2: The Ultimate chicken House

Thinking about all the things that a chicken needs, draw a superdooper chicken house which has absolutely everything that a chicken could need. How many chickens could you fit into your chicken house, still giving them plenty of room?

2.3 (15 mins)

2.3 Using Resource 1 (RSPCA Handout: Where do eggs come from?) read the first three paragraphs as a class. Discuss as a group. Prompting questions could include:

  • Why do you think that most people buy their eggs from the supermarket nowadays? Most people don’t have the room for chickens, nor the time and energy to care for them.
  • Where do the bulk of people live in Australia – urban communities.
  • Is it practical to try to keep chickens in these kind of conditions? • What sort of hens do you think have laid the eggs that your household uses?

As a group go on to the sections on cage eggs, barn laid eggs and finally free range eggs. Read and discuss as a group. How do they think the chickens would feel living in each of the different farms?

Complete the Activity 1 on the handout: ‘Which type of chicken farm is best?’

Go on to read ‘The RSPCA and eggs’. Complete the ‘think question’ and ‘eggs-traordinary activity’.

3. Conclusion  
3.1 Discussion(10 mins)

3.1 Class discussion on the different ways that eggs are produced in Australia. Prompting questions:

  • Which did they think was the kindest way to keep chickens?
  • Which did they think was the least kindest?
  • Why do they think that some farmers continue to keep their chickens in small cages? Cheaper. People are still purchasing them.
  • What can we do to encourage all farmers to change to barn laid or free range egg farming? Purchase only free range or certified barn laid eggs.
  • If we can’t afford to buy the more expensive barn laid eggs – is there still something we can do? Yes! Buy the humanely produced ones still – but just eat less of them!

Curriculum Links

Curriculum Links for this lesson
Key Learning area Curriculum link
Science Life and Living
LL 3.1 Students draw conclusions about the relationship between features of living things and the environments in which they live.
SOSE Systems, Resources and Power
4.5 Students classify values that underpin campaigns and organisations associated with human or environmental rights.
English

Composing
3.5 Students write a a few linked sentences on familiar topics, using well-rehearsed language to cover basic information and write a simple personal or recount or report following a model.

Critical: Evaluating meanings in text
CR 3.3 Students identify which aspects of subject matter, attributes, process and visual resources they have chosen to construct positive or negative representations of people, places, events, and/or things in their stories, personal recounts and information reports.

Maths Chance and Data
3C2 Students design surveys, collect, organise, interperate and make infferences about data and create and draw displays based on many-to-one correspondence clearly identifying the significant features.

Suggested Homework Activities

  1. Students can collect information about the eggs used in their house and bring that data back to the class. Teacher can use the data to survey which eggs are the most common in households. Students can then present this information graphically.
  2. Students to design a poster advertising the eggs that would come from a farmer using their ‘ultimate chicken house’ (from section 2.2 of this lesson plan).

Suggested Extension Activities

Students to reflect on what they have learned by writing a paragraph from the point of view from a hen producing: caged eggs, barn laid eggs and free range eggs. The title can be ‘A day in the life of…’

  • a caged hen
  • a free range hen
  • a barn hen

Students should consider the kind of things that the hens may get up to throughout the day and whether or not they are able to do everything that they would like to.

Suggestions for Adapting this Lesson for Lower or Higher Year Levels

This lesson is also available in 7-9

References

This lesson was kindly written and generously donated to the RSPCA Qld Inc. by Anne Lonie. If you would like to help the RSPCA by donating teaching resources please contact the WOAW Admin Team: admin@woaw.org.au

Lesson plan image: www.flickr.com/photos/robandstephanielevy/2369800407

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One Response to “Lesson Plan: Conscious Consumerism – Egg Production”

  1. jayna

    i think if we see an animal by itself we should take it in and either look after it or take it to the vet. It will make a big difference. So think about it and do it I say

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