Meet the Sage Canyon Chickens!

chickens chickens2  Two years ago third grade teachers at SGCE created a life science PBL project entitled, The Circle of Life. During this project, third graders studied the life cycles of mammals, fish, amphibians, insects, and birds. The project was wonderfully engaging and educational since the students were able to observe the birth, life metamorphosis, and sometimes the death of a sample of each of these creatures. One of the most engaging and exciting events of this project was the hatching of our baby chicks.

At the completion of the Circle of Life project, the third grade teachers began to “hatch” an idea themselves. Why couldn’t we keep our chicks? How wonderful would it be for SGCE students to raise chickens right here at Sage Canyon and sell their eggs? Imagine the authentic learning experience this could be! Why couldn’t the entire school and the SGCE community be involved in this project? This began the process of what is about to unfold for Sage Canyon Elementary this very week!

In a 21st Century world, where so much of our time is spent indoors on electronic equipment or running to and from one obligation to another, the Sage Canyon Chicken Coop offers our students an opportunity for hands-on involvement with what HOME and HOMEWORK may once have meant. The care and feeding of our chickens will bring a sense of grounding and community to us all. And while we are at it, we are still accomplishing work on the 21st century skills of collaboration, productivity, financial responsibility, and leadership.IMG_3020

There is much that has come before the arrival of our hatchlings to their home at SGCE. All of the funding for the coop has been earned by third graders of the past two years through their financial literacy/economics projects in the Castle Rock community. This project involved creating and producing a marketing product for a real Castle Rock business. That business then paid the students for their work. Those funds became the foundation of our chicken project. After many meetings with the district, hours of research, and general weekend construction with husbands, SGCE volunteers, and teachers, our coop is ready for its occupants!

There is still much left to do! Third and fourth grade teachers will initiate the care of the coop to truly understand what must be done each day. They will create a task sheet for classrooms to take over.  There are other schools in Douglas County who have offered us their permission slips, care, feeding, and cleaning checklists, and sanitary egg handling protocols. We are truly thankful for their cooperation. We are not pioneers in agriculture in our district, but we are the first in Castle Rock! Shortly, the community will receive notice of  a Sign-up Genius that will be available to families to take over the chicken coop during weekends and holidays. So, you can see this is truly a community project! Let’s keep our chickens safe and happy! After all, they belong to Sage Canyon!

A great big thank you goes out to the following chicken coop volunteers:  the Heath Family, the Rose Family, the Joe Schubarth Family, the Jeff Pepper Family, Charlie Mann, and Mr. Mann. Additionally, a special thank you goes to the Neuhausen family who fostered our first chicken hatchlings. These chickens could not join Sage Canyon due to red tape delays. We cannot thank you enough for your support! Here are some photos of our coop progress and volunteers!