First grade goes bird watching

by Lisa Preston, Lower School naturalist

First graders are learning characteristics of birds in the outdoor classroom.
First graders have been learning about the birds who visit the feeders in our outdoor classroom, focusing on the art of recognition by sight and sound. Knowing most of these birds live in this neighborhood year around, it is a connection to the natural world right outside our school walls.  

First, we learned the three traits birds have are their feathers, hollow bones, and hard-shelled eggs. Last week, we did a feeder watch in the outdoor classroom. Students brought their bird identification sheets to the outdoor classroom and marked each time a species visited the feeder or the area around the feeder. First-grade scientists did their best to record accurate information while realizing the same bird might visit more than once. They later graphed the species of birds they sighted that day. Finally, we watched the behavior of birds in and around the feeders to see how their feeding habits were the same and different from each other.

In the classroom, students spent time looking at information from the “Discover Birds Activity Book,” which gave more details about their feathers, beaks, feet, and nesting habits.  

In April, Cyndi Routledge, who helped develop the bird book, will visit the outdoor classroom for a morning of bird banding. She is a master bird bander and will teach our kindergarten, first grade, and second-grade naturalists another tool used in bird science and research.
    • First graders sketched and colored while birdwatching in the outdoor classroom.

    • Students together with their teacher graphed bird species they sighted that day.

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