As fall comes to an end, everyone prepares for winter. People begin to gather firewood, bring out their warm coats and prepare their homes for cold weather. Teach your students how birds also anticipate a change in the temperature and make their preparations.
Circle Time: Birds Get Ready For Winter
This lesson will introduce the class to various birds and how they prepare for winter. Show pictures of birds that migrate, such as robins, red-winged black birds, blue birds, wrens, hummingbirds, wild ducks, geese and Baltimore orioles. Explain to the children that when there is snow and ice, it is hard for some birds to find food. Birds are sensitive to the temperature changes and their vision is sharp, so they follow the sun in the day and the stars at night as they travel. Ducks and geese stay together and fly in a "v" formation, following rivers as they work their way to the warmer south.
Birds, such as the cardinals, snowy owls, chickadees and English sparrows, have a special coat of insulating feathers called down. These birds stay home and find seeds and berries to eat. Some birds save their seeds in a pouch in their throat to be saved and eaten later. Let the children know that they can help to provide food for the birds that do not leave for winter. Read the book Wild Birds by Joanne Ryder.
Science: Observation of Seeds
Prepare an assortment of seeds for the class to observe, such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, acorns, seed pods and vegetable seeds. Slice an apple and a squash to expose the seeds. Allow the children to discuss the different size and shapes.
Activity: Bird Feeder
These are the items needed:
Each child will spread peanut butter and shortening mixture on a bagel, dip it in birdseed then tie on a string. Hang each feeder on tree branches for the birds to eat. Follow up in a few days, by bringing the children to observe the feeders. Allow the students to journal their observations with before and after pictures.
This interactive math game is a combination of vocabulary and numbers. Call on a child, ask for the name of a bird, then he or she "flies" to the front of the classroom. Call on another child to do the same. Now, have the children add the "birds." Continue adding and subtracting "birds" until everyone has participated.
Goodbye Geese, by Nancy White Carlstrom
The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle