Ed- It's For the Birds

Birds have adaptations that allow them to survive in a multitude of environments in a watershed. Students consider strategies that help birds secure shelter and find food, and explore how bird beaks are adapted for gathering and eating specific foods. Outdoors, fledgling ornithologists use binoculars to observe birds in their natural habitats, and collect data to interpret and share in citizen science projects as part of civic responsibility. This program is offered year-round!

Target SOL (For the field investigation. Additional SOL apply to the before and after activities.)

Science (2018): 2.1, 2.5, 2.7; 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.8; 4.1, 4.3, 4.8

Field investigations are more meaningful to students when they are integrated into their curriculum. This lesson cluster can be used to introduce and/or review adaptations, habitats, and life needs as well as synthesize data and consider civic responsibility for a systems approach and increase depth of knowledge.

The Before-visit activities develop understanding of bird adaptations through literacy connections, and develop observation skills helpful in bird observations. During the field investigations, students explore bird beak adaptations, go on a bird walk as young ornithologists, and engage in a kinesthetic migration activity. With the after-visit activities, students use map reading skills to deepen their understanding of the adaptation of bird migrations and engage in citizen science and stewardship to assess and create bird-friendly habitats. Click here for the full lesson cluster (see each section for individual activity plans). 

Before: Understanding Adaptations and practicing Observation Skills  

These activities help develop an understanding of bird adaptations through literacy connections, and develop observation skills helpful in bird observations.

Before 1- Paddle, Perch, Climb

Before 2- Eye Focus

During: Field Investigations 

During your field investigation at Blandy, your students will engage in several indoor and outdoor lessons. Below is an overview of the “typical” program activities to assist you with integrating this field experience into the classroom experiences. The activities can change due to weather, the volume of students, or through communication with environmental educators. Click here for a sample schedule.

Fill the Bill- Students consider strategies that help birds secure shelter and find food and explore how bird beaks are adapted for gathering and eating certain foods.

Bird Watching- Outdoors, fledgling ornithologists use binoculars to observe birds in their natural habitats, and collect data to interpret and share in citizen science projects as part of civic responsibility

Migration Game- Students engage in a kinesthetic game modeling the process of bird migration, including the trials and tribulations birds meet on their migration journeys.

 

After: Schoolyard Stewardship & Mapping Bird Migrations

With the after-visit activities, students use map reading skills to deepen their understanding of the adaptation of bird migrations and engage in citizen science and stewardship to assess and possibly create bird-friendly habitats.  

After 1- Mapping Migration

After 2-  Community Science and your Bird Data

After 3- Building a Schoolyard Habitat for Birds

 

Literacy

Counting Birds:The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends                Non-fiction        

Author: Heidi E.Y. Stemple  Illustrator: Clover Robin

2nd - 5th

Suggested Activities: Explore birding citizen science opportunities and data at the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and eBird.

Have students study images of a bird species of their choosing, then use cut paper shapes to accurately model it."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Look Up: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard                 Non-fiction        

Author: Annette LeBlanc Cate                                                    

3-5 Lexile: 810L 

Suggested Activities: Use for guided observation: read a page as a class, then go outside to practice the skill (eg. Read about beak shapes, observe birds to notice beaks).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Paddle Perch Climb: Bird Feet are Neat   Non-fiction        

Author: Ellen Angus

preschool - 3rd  Lexile: AD480L  

Suggested Activities: The end of the book includes suggested lessons of designing a bird with beak and feet that enable it to thrive in its habitat and creating food chains based on the habitats portrayed in the book.

 

Have students research birds they may see in their area, then create two pages to add to the book (one describing the feet, one showing how the feet help the bird get food in its habitat).                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist               Non-fiction        

Author: Margarita Engle Illustrator: Aliona Bereghici

1st-3rd  Lexile: AD90L                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Woodpecker Wham        Non-fiction

1-3rd     Lexile: AD970L  

Suggested Activities: Carefully observe birds in the wild and draw or describe what you see.

Review the features of this biography, use them to create an outline. Interview an adult in your life and use the outline to write their biography.