25 February, 2011

Bird Reading, Writing, Singing, Activities, and Art

Hellooooooo readers!

In spite of the fact that today it is pouring buckets and buckets of rain and more is expected for tomorrow - almost 3 inches are predicted - birds outside our classroom window are still quite busy.  This is lucky for my students as they are very engaged with learning about our feathery friends.

In our Practical Life area we have . . .

Birds and Their Eggs matching cards

To make these, I found this great picture.  I printed two copies and cut the photos apart.  I made a stack of yellow cards with pictures of the birds on them, and a stack of purple cards, with pictures of the eggs on them.  The children must match the two using the printed words as a guide.  On the back side of each card is the "answer", either a picture of the eggs or the bird, unlabeled.  This serves as a control so the children may check their work.

and Little Wooden Eggs

I actually made these for Easter, but since that is still almost 2 months away, I saw no harm in taking them out for a little while.  These are solid wood eggs, with little animal designs wood burned onto them.  I put very simple rabbit, frog, chick, and turtle designs onto the eggs, and then painted them with water colors.  I finished them with a little mineral oil and some buffing.  The children may grasp the eggs, match them by design, or order them by rainbow colors.

As a Science activity, we have a little hands-on work involving a ping pong ball bird.  
Here he is on our felt pond.  I hope he is a water bird!  : )

This is an activity I saw at a lovely children's museum in Massachusetts, a few years ago.  The experiment is supposed to show how air pressure works, but for my students this actvitity serves as a good way to see how birds use the wind as they fly.  We have been watching a hawk who lives in the park across the street from our school and when we have seen him, he has been soaring and gliding.  The children noticed he hadn't been doing much flapping of his wings and wondered just how he was flying.  We talked about how some birds stretch out their wings to "catch the wind."  In this activity, the children were to take the "bird, "place him into the "wind", and then use the wind to help guide the bird to the safety of the basket.  Try it out!  It is not quite as easy as it looks!

Our Language learning has included writing . . .

Here is one of my student's rewriting of a selection from The Best Nest.  
Notice Mr. Bird's song at the bottom of the page!

some vocabulary terms . . .

and some great bird books.  If you need some suggestions of 
bird books for children ages 3  to 6, check these out:

This one is excellent and especially good for role playing.  Including a narrator, there are parts for 10 children in the story.

 This one is also good for acting.  When reading it aloud, I always pretend to really cry when the husband bird thinks his wife has been eaten by a cat.  Of course, the children think this is hilarious!
This is a lovely story about a bat who loses her mother, and then lives with a family of birds.  She learns their bird ways, and later when she is reunited with her mother, sees that although birds and bats are different in many ways, in many ways they are also the same.
This is a truly lovely book, and with the right group of children, reading it aloud is a serene experience.  My class last year was totally silent during the whole story.  You could have heard a pin drop.

It is a story about a child and her father who go out into the woods late one evening, looking for owls.  

This is another very sweet story which is also good for role playing.  Sarah, Percy, and Bill all have distinct personalities that would lend themselves well to character voices.  My children especially love it when Bill says,  I want my Mommy!
We also created a group art project, Bird Trails.  The idea for this project came from a book I checked out of our local library last year.  I can't remember which book it was, but it had a marvelous picture with trails of colors all over the page.  The idea is to imagine what a patch of sky would look like if birds left a trail of color everywhere they flew.

Our patch of sky was pretty busy!  This piece of paper looks small in the picture, 
but it is actually about 4 feet long and includes lots and lots of bird trails!

Musically, we have been having a ball, a Bird Ball that is!  : )  If you would like to hear and dance to some silly and very fun bird songs, check these out!
Of course, we love Rockin' Robin.  The children and I crawl around on the floor to this song, using our fingers to make beaks and search for worms, as we tweedle - ee - deedle - dee along.  Yup, it is big fun.

We also have really enjoyed Chicken Fun, which is on the album of a wonderful teacher and storyteller, Mary Jo Huff.  You can preview some of the song here, but I would be willing to bet that if you bought the whole song you wouldn't be disappointed.  Mary Jo Huff isn't much of a singer, but the song is really catchy and encourages all my "chickens" to really dance.  Bock bock!  (That's my chicken sound.)

Please come back to the blog again soon to read about bird mobiles, spinny birds, and more bird fun!



  1. Great ideas! What kind of watercolors do you use to paint the eggs?

    1. Hi Annette. Sorry it is nearly a year later that I am replying! I didn't remember to do so last year, apparently. Sorry about that. I use non toxic watercolor paints. I found a set from Grumbacher that I love!

  2. Great activities to make bird watching this time of year even more fun! Thanks for the links! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

  3. Thank you for posting this, Deb! I love your FB page and all your activities! Isn't blogging a great way for all parents and educators to connect? I love it! : )

  4. The name of the book you reference is "Little Green" by Keith Baker.


Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )