‘Chicken Worth Crowing About’

Student activity based on the March/April 2012 Our Ohio magazine article “Chicken Worth Crowing About.”

Common Core State Standards
(English Language Arts Standards:  Reading: Informational Texts: Grade 2)  In this student activity, students will “ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.  They will identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.  Students should describe the steps in technical procedures in a text.” (Explanation and key terms are from the Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2011.

Discussion Points One

  • Either have students read the article titled “Chicken Worth Crowing About” found in Our Ohio magazine online or read the article to the students.
  1. While reading the article, show or look at the pictures of Gerber Poultry.
  2. Who is the informational magazine article about?
  3. Is the article about the people who own and run the farm?
  4. Could the “who” in this article be the chickens that are raised on the farm?
  5. What is poultry?  What does Gerber’s Poultry do?
  6. Where is the farm located?  Is it in Ohio?
  7. Where does Gerber’s send its chickens to be raised?
  8. What do you know about the Amish people and the way they live?
  9. Are these chickens raised for their eggs or their meat?
  10. When do the baby chicks get sent to other farms to be raised into adult chickens?
  11. Why are the farmers so careful about how their chickens are treated and what their chickens are fed?
  12. How many chickens are hatched per day at the Gerber chicken farm?
  13. Explain the steps that a chick goes through to get to market.

Eggs are _____________ after 21 days of incubation.

Baby chicks receive a _________________, or medicine to keep them healthy.

Chicks are bundled into boxes and shipped to ________________________.

The Amish farmers “feed and take care” of the chicks before they reach __________ or the weight needed to sell the chickens to stores.

Discussion Points Two

  1. Why is this saying interesting? “We raise a chicken that’s worth crowing about.”
  2. Explain what the main topic is of the paragraph titled “Demand grows.”
  3. Who started this business?
  4. Why has the business improved over the years?
  5. The main topic of the paragraph with the heading “Listening to customers” will be about what?
  6. Why might people want to know about where their food comes from or how the chickens are raised?
  7. What has the Gerber family done to explain how their chickens are raised? (ex. website, email, farm visits.)
  8. What do the chickens get fed?  Is this feed better than what chickens might find on their own to eat?
  9. Where can you buy chicken from the Gerber farm?
  10. Can you eat chicken from this farm when you eat at the Chipotle Mexican Grill?  Explain.
  11. Explain why people like chicken from this farm better than chicken from other farms.

Hands on at Home or School

  1. Explore the Gerber’s Poultry website.
  2. Read the special section on the website titled “Food, Think.”
  3. Do you think Gerber’s raises chickens the right way?  Explain.
  4. Look in your grocery store’s meat department. Do they carry Gerber’s Poultry?
  5. Do you think that it is important to have “Amish Farm” on the package of the chicken? Why?
  6. Gerber’s Poultry has a special relationship with the restaurant Chipotle.  What has the farm done to make sure they can sell their chicken to this restaurant?
  7. The article titled “Rebuilding” shows that the Gerbers never give up. Make a drawing showing the steps the Gerber family went through to rebuild their business.


  • Using a map of Ohio located at the Ohio Department of Transportation, or your own map, locate:
  1. Kidron, Ohio
  2. Akron, Ohio


  1. Eggs spend 21 days in incubation, before hatching. How many weeks is that?
  2. The article states that 2,000 chickens could be raised on each floor of the Gerber’s barn.  If there are four floors, how many chickens were raised in that barn?


This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.