Within My Teaching Box – eggs

Open with care…


Today’s teaching tool is a simple egg.

For a few months, I found goose eggs at the market. They were a joy to cook with and eat, and I blew one to keep to teach with. Simple, really.

What’s so important about this egg? Firstly, almost all my students think they’re sophisticated in knowing both hen eggs and quail eggs. Occasionally someone knows duck eggs. Historically, however, humans ate many types of eggs, so anyone in the history side of my teaching needs to know what ‘egg’ means when it’s referred to in a  text. Anyone in my writing side of teaching (where I teach writers how to  build a world for their novel, or how to interpret historical records for fiction, or how to work out what the character is seeing or tasting that’s different from what they themselves see or taste) needs to know what they really mean when they say ‘egg.’ Anyone writing a science fiction novel or inventing a  world to put their novel in needs to know that unless they think about it, the eggs they choose will be hen ‘s eggs and will cook like hens’ eggs and taste like hens’ eggs.

This single goose egg is accompanied by a particularly large pullet egg, to give you a notion of size –the  large pullet egg is about the same size as an ordinary hens’ egg, which meets historical fiction readers’ needs to understand hens’ eggs. So many bits of handy information in a single photo.

Goose and hen

With this egg, I encourage my students to think more deeply about the world they set their fiction in.



Within My Teaching Box – eggs — 7 Comments

  1. Color me confused. Growing up on a farm, as I did, with a mother who raised chickens for meat and eggs, the definition of a pullet for us is “young hen of about a year old, not yet mature enough to lay eggs.”

      • Here they’re young chickens too, but pullets lay eggs. Smaller eggs with different nutritional value (more fatty acids,), so a large pullet egg amused me. The only place to buy them is at the farmers’ market, for very few are produced before the pullets become chickens.

  2. I do remember ST:TNG being clever once and having the officers try an old Earth recipe of IIRC scrambled eggs. They were trying to cook with lizard eggs, and not enjoying them!

  3. I used to live next to a shop stocking both ostrich and quail eggs. Never actually tried ostrich but the visual was great.

    • I am envious. I’ve added ostrich to my want-list for cooking and the box, because I have never actually thought of ostrich eggs in that way. And I quite possibly need a bigger teaching box if I’m dreaming off adding both ostrich and emu to it!