Announce to students that they are going to work with a partner to investigate the differences between amphibian and reptile eggs. Students will test three.

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As a class: Each student should make an observation on the worksheet (#1) of each egg prior to their treatments. a  Place one egg in an empty clear jar or container. a Place one egg in a clear jar or container and cover with 200 mL of room temperature water. Make sure that the egg is completely covered with water. a Observe each container and record observations. (#2 on worksheet) a  Leave egg in containers overnight. a Next day, gently spoon egg out of containers. Place on paper towels. a Observe and record the condition of the egg shell. (#3 on worksheet) The Investigation – Record of Events
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  • 1 Announce to students that they are going to work with a partner to investigate the differences between amphibian and reptile eggs. Students will test three different treatments to eggs in order to compare results and to create a fair and unbiased test. Tell student scientists that they will be using a fragile egg and must be careful. They will also be using vinegar. Remind them to use goggles since they are using a chemical. They will need to follow the checkpoint lab sheet.
  • 2 Setting up the Egg Shell Investigation SAFETY 1.Wear safety goggles over your eyes. 2.Do not directly smell the vinegar. Supplies: 1 container for dry egg 1 container for egg with water 1 container for each pair of students for egg with vinegar Graduated cylinders Plastic spoons Eggs (either hard boiled or raw may be used) White Vinegar Paper Towels Objective: Students will soak an egg in vinegar for 24 hours to simulate the characteristics of a “shell- less” amphibian egg. Comparisons will be made between the shells of an egg soaked in vinegar, an egg soaked in water, and a dry egg. Students will gain an understanding of the differences between eggs of reptiles and amphibians.
  • 3 As a class: Each student should make an observation on the worksheet (#1) of each egg prior to their treatments. a  Place one egg in an empty clear jar or container. a Place one egg in a clear jar or container and cover with 200 mL of room temperature water. Make sure that the egg is completely covered with water. a Observe each container and record observations. (#2 on worksheet) a  Leave egg in containers overnight. a Next day, gently spoon egg out of containers. Place on paper towels. a Observe and record the condition of the egg shell. (#3 on worksheet) The Investigation – Record of Events
  • 4 The Investigation Each pair of students: a Gently place one egg in a clear jar or container. a Pour 200 mL of white vinegar into clear container. If the egg is not completely submerged, add enough vinegar to completely cover egg. a Observe each container and record observations (#2 on worksheet). a  Leave egg in container of vinegar overnight. a Next day, gently spoon egg out of vinegar in the container. Place on paper towel. a Observe and record the condition of the egg shell. (#3 on worksheet) a Compare eggs from each container and make observations on worksheet. a  Leave eggs on paper towels for one additional day. a Observe and record the condition of the egg shells. (#4 on worksheet).
  • 5 What It Looks Like
  • 6 What is Happening Eggs contains “calcium carbonate.” The calcium carbonate is what makes the shells hard. Vinegar is an acid known as acetic acid. When the calcium carbonate in the egg comes into contact with the acetic acid in the vinegar, a chemical reaction takes place and carbon dioxide is released. That is why you see bubbles rising from the egg in the vinegar. The vinegar is using up all the calcium carbonate in the egg shell which takes about a day. When you take the egg out of the vinegar the shell is soft. All the carbon was released and moved out from the egg with all those bubbles.
  • 7 Why this Matters The classes of Amphibians and Reptiles are often confused. They have many similarities. Both lay eggs but amphibians lay “shell-less” eggs. Reptiles lay eggs with hard, leathery shells. This characteristic allows the reptiles to live out of the water. Amphibian eggs must be laid in water and must be in the water to hatch. Because of these requirements, amphibians are forced to live in or near water. The egg in this experiment begins looking and feeling very similar to that of a reptile egg with a hard eggshell. However, once it has been in the vinegar for a day, it will be similar to the amphibian egg. This experiment should demonstrate to the students how the eggs are different and how delicate the amphibian eggs are. However, the students need to know that if an amphibian egg is left out of the water, it will not steal carbon from the outside air and become hard. The amphibian egg will shrivel, dry up and die.
  • 8 Reinforce student understanding using the Scott Foresman leveled readers. Students will connect their findings of their investigation at this point to the leveled reader. Assist students in their understanding of how eggs are different in various vertebrates. Students will record their observations of their investigation at various time intervals. Encourage discussion within groups as to what they are investigating and discovering. or
  • 9 Have students suggest further inquiry or ways to improve this test by developing their own investigation. If time permits, continue testing different ideas. Examples: dark vs. light, various liquids such as soda, various temperatures, hard boiled vs. raw, food coloring, percentage of vinegar/water solution with food coloring
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