Does anyone know if any publisher they are using has a planned curriculumn for incubating and then raising chickens? By planned, I mean with workbooks, tests, etc. A quarter or semester would be great. Any ideas would be great.
I found things here & there, online. I googled "4-H, poultry" and got pieces of different education plans: diagrams of chickens, charts for incubation, showmanship stuff for fair... 4-H does have curricula for sale, too.
Well, I can't direct you to any specific all-in-one resources, but I'd do a 3-prong approach. (after all, this is the beauty of home-schooling! We learn that information is integrated!!! A sorely lacking concept in public schools.)
First, I'd use this forum and read up on all the hatching info they have. It is a lesson in using electronic resources and messageboards for support and information. This would also cover the basics of incubation and hatching.
Second, If you have a biology text geared towards anyone from 9th to 11th grade, it will have a chapter on the "continuity of development." Here you can learn all the stages of animal development from zygote to blastula to embryo to fully functioning organism. This will cover what's going on in the egg.
Third, and one of my favorite topics to teach in Biology, is the purpose of eggs, and why bird eggs develop outside their bodies instead of inside like mammals. A biology text would cover that in the reproduction chapter. There are many types of animals. Oviparous (laying eggs), Viviparous (giving live birth,) and even some ovoviviparous animals like cockroaches and some snakes that technically have full eggs that develop and hatch inside them, then they give birth. Most mammals have social structures that allow males to care for females while they are gentler on their bodies during fetus development. But a bird that has to run around and find food, or that might be a prey animal would have a lower likelihood of success in pregnancy if her body was constantly giving its energy to embryos. So, it makes more sense to put TONS of nutrients in one place, and then be able to set the egg down somewhere, so it is developing somewhere other than inside the body.
I diverge. Anyway, good luck on the home schooling! I'm behind you 100%!