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Observing Backyard Birds
Submitted by Meredith in Charlotte, North Carolina
1st Grade Teacher
During a unit on birds the students will observe backyard birds and their behaviors by doing some bird watching.
OBJECTIVE: The students will be able to identify common types of backyard birds and their behaviors.
INSTRUCTION: Read aloud Feathers For Lunch by Lois Elhert. After reading identify several of the birds in the book and ask students which ones they have seen before. On chart paper list 2 or 3 common birds and use tally marks for each child who has seen that type of bird in their backyard. Have the class count the tally marks in groups of five to determine which of the birds represented is the most commonly seen.
GUIDED PRACTICE: Play a game of Bird Lotto to help students identify common types of backyard birds. These games can be purchased, but there is a printable version available at homeschoolshare.com under the Feathers For Lunch unit study.
After playing, have the students prepare for bird watching by making a pair of binoculars. Take two empty toilet paper roles and tape them together. Then punch holes on each end and tie a string to each hole for a neck strap. The student's can decorate their binoculars with markers (or paint if you like).
INDEPENDENT PRACTICE: Using a bird watching diary page have the students go outside to observe the birds. The sheet should have a section for students to make tally marks for each bird they see, then a place to identify the name of and draw a picture of one bird they saw. Under that there should be space for students to write some of the bird behaviors they saw (i.e. flying, singing, building a nest, etc.).
EVALUATION: Students should have successfully completed their bird watching diary page and identified at least one type of backyard bird.
Submitted by Kristen in Pearl, Mississippi
1st Grade Teacher
My first grade students had been studying Artic and Antarctic animals. Some of our activities included: comparing and contrasting the climates, and making snow. The students really enjoyed making snow; they were able to use test tubes to measure the water for the snow.