Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones, by Ruth Heller

This book is a wonderful introduction to oviparous creatures.  Besides being a fun word to teach children, the pictures and simple text will help children to really see and understand that lots of creatures are egg laying and thus, oviparous indeed.


  •     Box large enough for a child to get inside.
  •     Animals that are oviparous pictures
  •     3 raw eggs 
  •     1 boiled egg per child in the classroom
  •    Plastic Easter eggs, lot
  •    4 shallow boxes and 4 small balls (golf, ping-pong, or larger marble)
  •    Jelly bean graph
  •    10 one-inch tall eggs in three colors


  •    Oviparous (animals that lay eggs from which their babies hatch)

Before Reading the Story

 Ask the children if they can name an animal that is oviparous.  Define the word and help them to pronounce it.  Ask again if they can name an animal that is oviparous.  After they have named any, or not, tell them you are going to play a game using oviparous animals.  Hold up the pictures of the animals from the copy page one at a time. Let the children name them and then lay them down where all the children can see them.  After naming the animals play, Which Oviparous Animal is the Egg Hiding Under?  A child hides their eyes and then a second child puts the egg shape under an animal.  When the egg is hidden the class choruses, “Which oviparous animal is the egg under?”  The first child opens their eyes and must guess.  Continue to play until everyone has had an opportunity to hide the egg and guess. 

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions, to take turns in games and using materials, and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.  AND Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied spoken language.

Reading the Story

Introduce the story by saying, “We know that lots of animals lay eggs.  Our story today is called, Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones”.   Make sure to point out the eggs and their shapes while reading the story.  

Science/Scientific Knowledge;expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, amd discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

After Reading the Story

Bring in a box large enough that a child can fit inside of it.  Make sure it still has all its flaps on it.  Introduce the poem Oviparous Animals.  While reciting the poem,one child gets in the box and pops out declaring what kind of an animal that they are.  Congratulate them when they think of specific animals not in the book (shark, brontosaurus, rattle snake,etc).   

Oviparous Animals     

 Oviparous animals out of the egg crack                                                                                                 Out comes a _________and that is that!                                  

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.


 Show the children how to tell if an egg is hard boiled or raw.  Lay the egg on its side and spin it.  If it wobbles, it is raw.  If it spins freely it is hard boiled.  Let the children spin several times and then give them a hard boiled egg to peel and eat. Or make egg salad if you like.

Science/Scientific Methods & Skills; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.  AND Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences.

Music and Movement

Oviparous Animals

Oviparous animals out of the egg crack.

Out comes a _______and that is that!

Child hides in the box and then pops out declaring what kind of an oviparous animals they choose to be.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

 Make egg shakers to use to sing songs and keep rhythm with.  Use plastic Easter eggs and fill with rice.  Tape them closed.

Creative Arts/ Music; experiments with a variety of musical instruments.


Can you build letters with your blocks?  Tell the children, “E is for egg”.   Model making an E out of blocks, children copy.  Can you make a T, V, F, H,etc?  If the teacher is modeling for the children, sit facing them and build your block letters upside down so they can see how you put the blocks together.

Literacy/Early Writing;experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers.  AND Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.


Cut out egg shapes that fit as large as possible inside the shallow box.  Dip a small ball in paint and put it on top of the egg shape.  Let the children roll the ball back and forth, side to side to make a design on their egg.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Sand and Water

Put mud into the table.  Let the children make mud balls (eggs).  Add baskets and grass clippings so the children can put the eggs into nests.  Ask them what type of oviparous animal eggs they have made.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.  AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Library and Writing

Ahead of time, put the pictures you found of oviparous animals under an egg shape that covers them completely.  Cut several small holes in the egg so that children can see a small peak of the creature below.  On the egg write clues of what is underneath.  Read the clues to the children and see if they can guess.  Let the children lift the egg and see if they are correct.  As they name the animal ask “What kinds of animals lay eggs?”  Have the child say oviparous animals!

I am long. I have no legs, I say hiss.

I live in a nest, I have feathers, I eat worms

I am huge, I am extinct, I am a plant eater

I am fat, people eat me, I say gobble, gobble

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.  AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

Dramatic Play

 Add plastic Easter eggs and sanitized egg containers.  Observe how the children use the eggs in their play today and any vocabulary that accompanies it.  Note any oviparous play.  (I have had children decide that the eggs were dinosaur eggs, that the children were crocodiles and lived under the table, and others who just cooked or ignored the eggs all together).

Creative Arts/Dramatic PLay; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Math and Manipulatives

 Jelly beans look like eggs.  Have a fun math and eating project.  Give each child a cup full of jelly beans, about 15-20 each. Have the children sort their eggs by color.  Use crayons to mark the graph of how many they have in each color.  Count the color that has the most and eat them.  Count the color that has the least and eat them. Now how many jelly beans do you have left?  Which color left is your favorite?  Count them and eat them.  Play until all the jelly beans are gone.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Outdoor Play 

 Tell the children that the book said that insects are oviparous.  Go outside and look for insects.  Take your insect catchers with you (purchased or small plastic jars).  After you catch an insect, invite the children to come and examine it.  Can they count how many legs it has?  Do you see the antenna?  If they have caught more than one insect, can they describe the differences and similarities between the two?Make sure you let them go before you come inside. 

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.


Cut out about 10 one-inch tall eggs in two to three colors.  Use these eggs to make patterns (ABABAB or ABCABCABC)  Put the pattern up where the children can see it and then ask the children if they can see what color comes next in the pattern?

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.