Get Guessing & Get Moving in this Engaging Preschool Bird Lesson Plan
Introduce the Topic of Birds
Your preschool students, without a doubt, have seen a bird or two in their own backyard and may be able to name a few of the most common species in your area. Begin this bird lesson plan unit by brainstorming a list of birds that are native to your location. Even if the students can just describe a bird they may have seen, you can then help your preschoolers come up with a name. These bird books can also help to introduce the topics you will cover:
- State Birds by Elaine Landau
- Birds by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek
- Birds: The Plant and Seed Eaters by Jill Bailey and Steve Parker
- Night Birds by Alice K. Flanagan
- Birds' Nest by Barrie Watts
- Backyard Birds of Summer by Carol Lerner
- Perching Birds of North America by Sara Swan Miller
Who Am I?
Each of these riddles can be sung to the tune "This Old Man". After each, see who in the class can guess which bird you are singing about. Most of these birds are commonly known to preschoolers. You may want to use the list from your brainstorming session above as a reference. Finding a photo of each will also help the students make a connection with birds they have viewed outside.
- I am bright, I am red, I have a crest upon my head. If you can guess me, Hurry up and try. Before I fly into the sky! (Cardinal)
- I am big, I am grand, I'm the bird of our great land. If you can guess me, Hurry up and try. Before I fly into the sky! (Bald Eagle)
- I am big, I am blue, I love oaks and acorns too. If you can guess me, Hurry up and try. Before I fly into the sky! (Blue Jay)
- I am tiny, I am fast, Not many people see me pass. If you can guess me, Hurry up and try. Before I fly into the sky!(Hummingbird)
- I am old, I am wise, I like to hunt before sunrise. If you can guess me, Hurry up and try. Before I fly into the sky! (Owl)
- I eat bugs, I eat bees, I live in holes and peck on trees. If you can guess me, Hurry up and try. Before I fly into the sky! (Woodpecker)
- I am brown, with a red breast, I come first in spring to nest. If you can guess me, Hurry up and try. Before I fly into the sky! (Robin)
After sharing these rhymes, make up a chart with a photo of each of these birds. Next to each photo, leave a box where students can make a tally mark each time they see one of the birds. Laminate the chart. Hang it up next to a large window in your classroom and attach a dry erase marker. Students can take turns looking for birds out the window and mark what they see. Or, if they are out on the playground, they can come in at a later time and tally what they have seen. Before hanging it up, go over tally marks and how they are used to gather information. After a week or two, take the chart and make a graph as a class of all of their bird sightings. Compare the numbers and see which is most common (mode) and which is least common. Discuss as a class why nature centers may gather this type of information and how it may help them provide food and shelter for the birds.
Here is an oak tree, straight and tall (stand straight and tall)
And here are its branches wide (spread arms like branches)
Here is a nest of twigs and moss (hold hands like you are forming a nest)
With three little birds inside. (cup hand and wiggle three fingers)
Five Little Bluebirds
Five little bluebirds waiting for spring.
The first little bluebird began to sing.
The second little bluebird flapped its wings.
The third little bluebird said "Tweet, tweet, tweet."
The fourth little bluebird sang so sweet.
The fifth little bluebird said "It's a beautiful day."
Then all five bluebirds flew away.