For the first few days, my students learned more about the planets and made a solar system mobile. Then I decided to have them explore my favorite subject- birds. Nine of the thirteen students were in my class during the school year, so they were used to me talking about birding, seeing my bird photos, and helping me maintain our hummingbird feeder. But this time, I wanted to get them more involved. So I went down to the Tucson Audubon Society and checked out a class set of binoculars (thanks guys!). They were very eager to begin and I was excited to lead my first official bird walk. After showing them how to focus their binoculars on something in the class, we were out the door.
|How do you focus these things again?|
I was so happy with the results of our first bird walk that I showed them (with the projector) how to enter our sightings into eBird. On subsequent bird walks, they became my counters and memory of what we had seen. Back in the classroom, they helped me enter the information into eBird.
We couldn't stay outdoors forever, so we did a few indoor projects. The first one was paper-bag Bald Eagles. It's hard to see in the photo, but some of the eagles are in very interesting plumages (to be covered at a later date). Most of them insisted on wearing their binoculars for the photo. One student even brought his own from home, and a compass (in case we got lost on the playground).
|paper-bag Bald Eagles|
|imaginary bird species|
|water bottle bird feeders|
We checked our feeder Monday morning and found the House Finches using it. Some students noticed that these were the same birds they had seen over the weekend at their feeders. One boy said that he saw a White-winged Dove at his feeder eating the birdseed off the ground. Yes! As a teacher and birder, it's very rewarding to see seven year-olds identifying birds after only seeing them a few times. On our walks this week I've been asking them what the birds are. You'd be surprised how often they're right. Our last project will be to make edible bird nests and eggs made out of pretzel sticks, honey, and jelly beans. Mmm...
If you missed seeing bird photos in this post, you can get your fix over at my blog: www.azbirdbrain.blogspot.com