5 Eggcellent Instructional Ideas
Colorful plastic eggs are commonly associated with Easter egg hunts and the sight of them brings great excitement to children. Those same eggs (which will be on clearance before we know it) make for excellent instructional literacy and math activities. Here are five of my favs.
What’s Inside My Egg is a fun rhyming game that uses plastic eggs and small items that can fit inside the egg. You can also use small pictures that will fit inside as an alternative.
Directions: Place small items into the colorful egg and ask students to guess what’s inside the egg that rhymes with a word that you give them.
(The teacher placed a rock inside of a yellow egg)
Teacher: “What’s inside of my little yellow egg that rhymes with block?”
Teacher: “You guessed it, it was a rock!” *Reveal the item that was in the egg*
(The teacher placed an apple picture card inside of a blue egg)
Teacher: “What’s inside of my little blue egg that rhymes with dapple?”
Students: “Um…fish?” (We’ve all had this type of response!) 😃
Teacher: “Not quite, remember rhyming words sound the same at the end…Something in my egg rhymes with dapple…Is there a fruit that we had for lunch that sounds like dapple?”
Teacher: “You guessed it, it was an apple!” *Reveal the item that was in the egg*
You can also add a little chant to it, when prompting their guess. (Listen Below)
Here is a snippet of some Excellent Educators demonstrating this game and having a little fun with it in my workshop!
2. Onset and Rime
Twist and Read is a way to have your students practice reading single syllable words. All you need is a permanent marker and large plastic eggs to create these.
Directions: Turn the egg sideways. On the shorter part of the egg, write the onset of a word and on the longer part, write the rime of the word.
(Example – dog: /d= onset /og/= rime)
Twist the shorter part of the egg and write other onsets that will make new words with the rime on the other part. Continue to do this, so there are enough combinations for children to twist the egg and read multiple words.
Tip: Eggs twist best when they are not brand new. I always let me students explore with them so they can get worn a bit before creating this reading activity.
3. Letter Recognition
Match and Snap Letters is an activity to have students practice matching uppercase letters to lowercase letters. You can also integrate beginning sounds by adding pictures. To make this, you will need various colored eggs, a permanent marker, an egg carton for storage and mini picture cards if you want to include beginning sounds.
Directions: Take 26 eggs and separate the top of the eggs from the bottoms and place them in two piles. Use the top part of the eggs to write one uppercase letter on each and the bottom part to write one lowercase letter on each. Try to use different colors for the uppercase and lowercase so students don’t just match colors but they have to focus on the letters. (Be sure to check and make sure the bottom and the top parts will fit together. Some brands of eggs will only fit if it’s the same color 😒)
Students have to work to match the uppercase letters with the lowercase letters and place them in the egg carton when they have found the match. For students who are ready, have the Beginning Sounds Easter Eggs cut out and available so they can place the picture inside the egg that has the matching beginning sound.
4. Numeral Recognition, Counting, Number Word Recognition
Match and Snap Numbers is similar to Match and Snap Letters but it gives children practice with matching numerals to number words and/or quantities. You can also add in tally mark practice as well. To make this you will need various colored eggs, a permanent marker, an egg carton and tally cards (you can make these on scrap paper) and circle labels.
Directions: Take 6-12 eggs and separate the top of the eggs from the bottoms and place them in two piles. Use the top part of the eggs to write a numeral each and the bottom part to write dots that match the numerals on each. Try to use different colors for the numerals and matching quantities, so students don’t just learn to match colors.
Students will work to match the numerals with the quantities and place them in the egg carton on the correct numeral once they have found the match. For students who are ready, have them place the correct tally mark card inside the egg as an extended step.
This same activity can work with number words. Write numerals on the top part of the eggs and number words on the bottom, so children have to match the numeral to the word. You can even use the back side of the bottom eggs with the dots.
5.Numeral Recognition, Counting
Number Egg Hunt is similar to the traditional Easter egg hunt concept to find eggs, but this hunt involves students being two teams and children finding one egg a piece (with numbers inside) as a relay race. The object of the race is to try to have to highest team total at the end.
Directions: To play this game you will need roughly 45 plastic eggs. (Have enough so students can play two rounds of this getting one egg the first round and a different egg the second time.) You will also need number cards to place inside each egg and unifix cubes to add up totals after the race. The numbers you choose to put on the card should be chosen according to the level of your students. (You may choose to do numbers 0-10 or go higher to challenge them.) You can also choose to focus only on specific numbers that you want to review. For instance…If students have had trouble identifying 8, 9 and 11, you could have these specific numbers inside most of the eggs to be a review.
Fill all of the eggs with the chosen numbers ahead of time. Take the students outside and have the plastic eggs spread out in an open space. Divide your group into two teams and two lines. Explain to them that one person at a time, in each line, will run and choose an egg and bring it back. Once they make it back to their line, they will tag the next team member’s hand and go to the end of the line with their egg. Once the team member at the front of the line has been tagged, they will then run and find an egg, bring it back and tag the next team member. This process will continue until every team member has an egg. Each person will keep their egg closed until the race is over. After the race, the teams will gather in a circle, open their eggs and each get the number of cubes that matches the numeral they revealed. The teacher will monitor this process and double check the numerals and quantities. Each team will place their total cubes in a pile and the teacher will lead the class in counting the total for both teams. The team with the highest point total (number of cubes) will be the Number Egg hunt champions for that round. If time permits play a second round to see which team will become the second-round champions!
Each of these 5 ideas lend themselves to differentiation to fit your students. Let me know if you have any questions about the ideas. I hope your students enjoy them as much as mine!
Leave comments in the comment area and share any different ways you use eggs in your class so we can all learn!
HAPPY TEACHING 😉