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Birds in Our Neighborhood

Overview

I wake up to the sounds of chirping birds outside my window.   Glancing out the window, I notice the birds are busily at work.  They're looking for food, collecting materials for nesting, or just playing.  My mind wonders to the possibilities of bringing this beauty of nature into the classroom.    

This web site was designed for just that!   It was designed to introduce students in grades kindergarten through fourth grade to birds in their neighborhood.

This lesson is an introduction of native birds found in southern Arkansas.  It is an open format that will allow any teacher nationwide to bring in birds they see in their neighborhood.  It also offers the opportunity to use your own creativity and imagination.  I started out discussing the types of birds that a student might see in their neighborhood.   This allows the student to get an idea of the types of birds they may see on the upcoming trip around their neighborhood.   The instruction takes place on a fieldtrip outside.  The student are instructed to look for birds.  I took a camera along to take pictures of the birds the students saw.  (The camera I used was a digital camera that puts the picture on a disk and you can print pictures from a computer, but you can use a 35mm camera and have the pictures developed).  We then came back to the classroom and printed out the pictures and the children had to work in groups to locate the bird in the Field Guide and read the information given.  This lesson can be expanded by forming a unit on the food birds eat, places they nest, and the types of nests they make.  You can also add when you see them in conjunction to seasons, their migrating patterns, and their mating habits.  Although this lesson is focused in the science area to correlate with the Arkansas Science Curriculum Frameworks (1.1.1, 1.1.3, 4.1.3, 4.1.6, 5.1.4), I also added information to make this span across the curriculum into Reading, Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies.

My name is Michelle Young and I teach Special Education in the Bearden Public School District at Thornton Elementary located in Thornton, Arkansas.   I wanted to involve my students in a hands-on activity that was connected to their Reading, Math, or English objectives listed in their Individual Education Plan that took them outside of the classroom. 


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