For the spring of 2022, Omaha Public Library (OPL) is continuing the collaboration with The Nebraska Extension Educators from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL). These educators focus on early childhood development and education across the state. In 2019, Nancy Chmiel, a youth services librarian, and Katie Kraus, a Nebraska Extension Educator, brainstormed ways for OPL and UNL Extension to work together, resulting in this ongoing partnership. The returning workshop uses an emergent curriculum to introduce researched-based programming and adds a layer to the standard model of programming previously used, thus expanding the events OPL offers to families, and demonstrating a new presentation style for staff.
“Look Who’s Hatching: Exploring Oviparous (egg-laying) Animals with Young Children,” developed by Kraus, provides incubators to nine OPL locations. The workshop prompts the question: "What is inside the eggs?" The branch displays present the opportunity for each child to take the lead and explore all of the possibilities. The children will begin to wonder about what could hatch from the eggs — turtles, penguins, snakes, crocodiles, and even dinosaurs.
The eggs offer children time to think, generate, and reflect on a response to the question rather than responding with their very first gut reaction. This allows children to develop critical thinking skills as they consider the clues provided and process their ideas. Each incubation display prompts children to develop hypotheses as they analyze the contexts and predict what they think may be hatching. This will transition the exercise into an exploration of chickens and the many roles that they play in agriculture.
“Kids remember things that are out of the ordinary," says Chmiel, "so to provide something as a touchstone for them that’s hopefully a positive learning experience is exciting.”
Eggs and incubators were delivered to the following OPL locations during the first week of March:
Benson Branch, opens a new window
Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, opens a new window
Charles B. Washington Branch, opens a new window
Florence Branch, opens a new window
Milton R. Abrahams Branch, opens a new window (see photos), opens a new window
Saddlebrook Branch, opens a new window
W. Clarke Swanson Branch, opens a new window
W. Dale Clark Main Library, opens a new window (see photos), opens a new window
Willa Cather Branch, opens a new window (see photos), opens a new window
The program lasts approximately four weeks, with anticipated hatching dates during the last week of March. Stop by your local branch to see what's hatching!
Check out the following booklist for egg-related reads.
Does your local OPL branch have an incubator with mystery eggs inside? What will hatch from those eggs? Here are some books to help you decide.