Just like the title of the whole book, the first section of this book is titled “PeeP!” Select the chapter you’re reading and see what Gracie and the others have waiting for you!

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This chapter introduces Gracie and Bessie.

After you have read the chapter, here are some questions to think about.

One of the Chicken language words you learned in this first section and chapter was “PeeP!” Here is what it means.

You may wonder why “PeeP!” begins and ends with a capital letter. Here is a secret about the Chicken language that Gracie and Bessie want you to know.

Did you find any palindromes on this page? There’s one in the sentence right before this one! And there’s another one somewhere else on this page too!

Here is a fun activity that Gracie and Bessie think you might enjoy. We tried to do it together, but they ate the earthworms before we even got started. If you do this, please do not eat the earthworms!By the way, you will find some good worm-hunting tips in this first chapter. They are especially useful if you don’t want to do a lot of digging in your yard!

Steps for Making an
Earthworm Habitat

Step 1: Put a 1-inch layer of rocks in the bottom of the large jar. This will help with drainage. Earthworms need moisture, but too much is not good for them.

Step 2: Fill the small jar with water and tighten the lid. Place this inside the larger jar on top of the rocks. This encourages the earthworms to dig around the outside so you can see them better

Step 3: Fill around the small jar with soil. You can use a recycled spray bottle to add moisture to the soil, but be sure to rinse it very carefully. Earthworms do not like cleaning chemicals! Always remember that earthworms must have moist soil.(Not too wet. Not too dry. Just right!) Layer the soil with the sand like a sandwich. Make several layers for a double or triple decker sandwich! (You don’t have to use sand, but it does make it easier to watch the earthworms while they do their work. Eventually the layer of sand will get mixed in with the layers of soil by the earthworms!)

Step 4: Add your earthworms to the last layer of soil. Be gentle and cover them lightly with soil. Do it sort of like you are tucking them into bed for the night!

Step 5: Add some fruit and vegetable scraps or soft decaying leaves. Your earthworms will help turn them into more soil!

Step 6: Secure the top with the cheesecloth and the rubber band. This protects against spilling but still lets air in.

Steps for Maintaining an
Earthworm Habitat

Step 7: Keep the earthworm habitat in a cool place and cover it. Earthworms like being in a dark place, and they don’t like being in a warm place. You can make a covering with construction paper or a brown paper bag to keep it dark inside. Being in a dark place will encourage them to tunnel their way to the glass. Then you can lift the cover and watch them.

Step 8: Check on your earthworms each day. Mist or lightly spray inside your earthworm habitat so it doesn’t dry out. Earthworms like soil that is not too wet and not too dry. You can use a recycled spray bottle for this, but make sure you rinse it out really well. Earthworms do not like cleaning chemicals!

The Most Important Step: Be sure to return the earthworms (and soil) to their natural home once you have spent some time studying them. Your earthworms will appreciate it! Then they can get back to their most important job which is helping our soil to grow our food.

This chapter introduces many of Gracie and Bessie’s friends. When chickens are friends, they are friends forever—no matter what.If you had a new baby chick of your own, which kind would you like? And what would you name it?

One of the Chicken language words you learned in this chapter was “CheeP!” Here is what it means.

Here is a secret about the Chicken language that Gracie and Bessie want you to know.

Wow! The Chicken language is a lot like the People language. Did you find any interjections on this page? There are some close by.

Here is a great game Gracie and Bessie think you might enjoy as they do. We tried to play it with dice, but chickens are not good at throwing. We lost a lot of dice that way!Instead of dice, we use dominoes. Those have the numbers 1 to 6 on them too. We just take out the dominoes with a blank. The chickens have gotten very good at flipping them over with one foot!

If you don’t have any dominoes, there is no need to worry. Gracie has made sure there is a sheet you can print and then cut out to make your own set of “Chicken Dominoes.” They have eggs instead of dots!

The first question above is the most important question of all. The other books that follow this one are about helping Gracie to keep her promise!

Steps for Making a
Musical Wind Chime

Step 1: Gather all of your materials. We found everything we needed at The Thrift Store. We found an old small white basket that might have held Easter treats and 3 to 8 old mismatched metal spoons and forks of different sizes. (Those work best.)

Step 2: Cut a piece of thin string to hold each spoon and fork. If you have 8 spoons and forks, you will need eight strings. They should all be about the same length. 12 inches long seemed to work well for us. (Remember some of it will be used for tying knots.)

Step 3: Tie one end of each piece of thin string to the bottom of the basket. When you hold up the basket, the strings should hang down. You can always adjust these and make some a little shorter if you want.

Step 4: Tie the other end of each piece of thin string to a spoon or fork. When you hold up the basket, the strings should hand down and hold the spoons and forks.

Step 5: Test your wind chime to make sure that the spoons and forks are not too close and not too far apart. You should hear nice musical notes. Then decorate! This was our favorite part when we made ours. The basket from The Thrift Store already had some beads, but not enough. You can decorate any way you want!

Extra Ideas!

Hang Your Wind Chime: The basket handle is a great way to hang your wind chime inside or outside. If you have decorations that might be ruined by rain or bad weather, you may want to bring it inside.

Discover What Can Change the Sounds: Does it make a difference which way you tie the spoon and fork? Do big spoons and forks make a different sound than small spoons? What makes the highest notes? What makes the lowest notes? Try different things. Experiment!

Think About Turning the Basket into a Bird Feeder: What can you design to go inside the basket that might hold seeds for the wild birds that visit your yard? You will probably need something that will keep the seeds from falling through. We are going to try it this weekend!

“You are so much more than good enough.”

“You are so much more than good enough.”