Counting chickens in multiple languages

Early Learning students have been counting their chickens before and after they hatch at International Grammar School (IGS) - and in multiple languages.

“We started with 12 eggs and two hatched chickens,” said IGS Early Learning educator Melissa Phillips. “By Monday there were three extra chicks, and now there are 10.”

The children have been counting them in many languages, as IGS is a bilingual and multilingual learning environment, with the motto Unity through Diversity. Students are immersed in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and English classes until Year 7, when Spanish is added to the options. 

Educator Valerie Boisseau, who works closely with Melissa and her students and teaches in French, explained that “les poussins” could help the children learn about safe and caring environments as well as how to count in French and other languages.

“It’s great to have the incubator and chickens in the classroom,” said Melissa, who has hosted Henny Penny Hatching a number of times at IGS. 

“It has sparked a lot of conversation about the life cycle and nurturing living things, such as having air and water and food and warmth. It gives the children a sense of responsibility.”

Student Penny Martell (pictured, left) said she loved “to see them run around their little home”. 

“They flap their wings,” said Charlie Young.

“I love ‘Fluffy’,” said Aki Niwa Russell of one of the older chicks the children had named last week.
“And I like their baby feathers and their wings,” said Lottie Kaldor.