Activity 1: How Are Birds Able to Fly?
bone, hollow, names of common birds, (e.g., cardinal, sparrow, bluejay, woodpecker, goldfinch, etc.)For this activity, you will need:large picture books on birds, especially those that show details of the anatomy of the birds. Books that have illustrations and talk about the birds' size, the color of their feathers, and the composition of the bones would be most helpful. Contact the children’s librarian at the public library or your school librarian for help in acquiring books and videos for this lesson.a live bird in a cage for children to observe. If that is not possible, you may want to omit this step.straws. These are helpful to show the children what “hollow” means when teaching the concept of birds’ hollow bones.bird feathers collected from nature walks or ask children to bring in feathers they find around their homes.Directions
1. Introduce the concept of “flying” by helping the children fold paper airplanes and practice “flying” them.
2. Hold up a book and ask the children, “If you let go of the book, will it 'fly' like the paper airplane? Why or why not?”
3. Ask the children if they can fly. In an open space, ask them to move quickly around the room and flap their arms. Can they fly? Why not?
4. Ask the children if they have a family pet that can fly. If not, ask them why that pet can't fly? Lead the children to words and concepts: feathers, wings, heavy versus light.
5. Take the children outdoors to a playground, yard, or park and explain that the class will be bird watching. When they see a bird, whether in flight or sitting, have them point to draw others’ attention to the bird but do not use their voices. Encourage the children to listen to the sounds birds make. You may want to take a tape recorder to record the sounds. Ask questions about how many birds they see, the colors of the birds, how the birds are different, and how they are the same.
6. Back in the classroom, lead a circle discussion of what they saw and chart their observations: quantity of birds, colors of birds, birds that look alike, birds that look different, sounds of birds, what birds do, etc.
7. Provide time for children to draw their impressions of birds in their journals.
Activity 2: Do All Birds Fly?
ostrich, emu, penguin, wild turkey, chicken, flightless, heavy, lightFor this activity, you will need:pictures of wild birds that do not fly, ostriches and emus, for example, and of birds that cannot fly very far at a time, such as wild turkey, chickens, ducks, etc.Directions
1. Introduce the pictures and names of the birds to the children.
2. Talk about why birds don't fly, for example,they are too heavy, their wings are too short, etc.
Activity 3: Teaching Colors Through Bird Watching
red, brown, blue, black, yellow, black and white, names of common birdsFor this activity, you will need:markers.chart.full-color pictures of various common birds.crayons or finger paints.paper for drawing.Directions
1. Tell the children you are going bird watching and that they're going to pay special attention to the colors of the birds that they see. Review the names and pictures of common birds.
2. Take a walk outside to allow children to watch birds.
3. Ask them to identify and remember the colors they see in birds.
4. Back in the classroom, have students help you list the birds and their colors on the chart. Use markers in the appropriate color to write the names of the colors.
Red – CardinalBrown – SparrowBlue – Blue jayBlack – Cowbird, Starling, CrowYellow – GoldfinchBlack and White – Woodpecker
5. Have the children draw a picture of their favorite bird using crayons or finger paints to make it the appropriate color(s). They can refer to the bird pictures for help in visualizing their bird.