BIRDS

START WITH SCIENCE KITS

Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5

Objectives

  • To have children be able to define birds.
  • To have children identify different bird food for different birds.
  • To have children recognize different bird beaks for different purposes.
  • To expose children to some bird calls.

Books : (In kit)

  • Animals In Flight by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
  • Beaks! by Sneed Collard III
  • Bird Watch by Christie Matheson
  • Birds From Head To Tail by Stacey Roderick and Kwanchai Moriya
  • Everybody’s Everywhere Backyard Bird Book by Klutz Press
  • Hello, I’m Here! by Helen Frost and Rick Leider
  • Make Your Own Birdhouses & Feeders by Robyn Haus
  • 3 Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists:
    • Backyard Birds 
    • Birds of Prey
    • Bizarre Birds
Equipment : (In kit)

  • 1 Rubbermaid window style Hummingbird feeder
  • 1 Artline Wild Bird window view feeder
  • 1 set of 12 information cards on a yellow ring
  • 1 rubber hanging marsh hawk (gray/black)
  • 5 bird finger puppets (1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow) cardinal and robin
  • 3 bird’s nests on sticks (all man made)
  • 1 bird nest (felt hand made)
  • 2 bird call whistles (1 red, 1 natural)
  • 6 bags bird seed (thistle, mixed, black oil sunflower, millet, safflower, sunflower)
  • 5 bags of feathers (pale colors, peacock, white, longduck, almond pheasant)
  • 6 bird print stamps
  • 2 stamp pads
  • 1 owl puppet
  • 1 bird songs CD

Bookmarks : (In kit)

Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit.
PDF copies are available here.

  • PDF – 4 bookmarks per page. Ready to print in color.

Reproducibles

Program

  • Objectives
    • To have children be able to define birds.
    • To have children identify different bird food for different birds.
    • To have children recognize different bird beaks for different purposes.
    • To expose children to some bird calls.
  • Introduction
    • What is a bird? It is an animal with feathers, beak, wings, and two legs.  It is warm blooded and hatches from an egg. There are 18,000 species of birds. (According to the American Museum of Natural History.)
    • All birds have feathers and wings, but not all can fly. Can you think of one that doesn’t fly? (Penguin)
    • What do birds eat? (seeds, worms, bugs, bread, fish …)
    • Why do different birds eat different things?
      • Depends on kind of bird and location
      • Seagulls and penguins eat fish
      • Owls are predatory and eat mice and small mammals using sharp claws and beak.
      • Woodpeckers eat bugs in trees when pecking
      • Robins dig in ground and eat worms
      • Cardinals fly more and eat seeds (love sunflower seeds)
  • Program
    • Read: Bird Watch by Christie Matheson.
      This is a lovely interactive book. Have the children help you count the birds (and you will have to bring the book to them, a group or individuals. Use the 12 Cards on the Yellow Ring to show very common birds that children might see when they are out for a walk.
    • Read: Birds From Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick.
      Every other page describes a special characteristic for a specific bird. It isn’t a lot of reading, and I think the children will be interested in all the facts. Nice colorful illustrations. Early Literacy – nonfiction facts with good scientific vocabulary.
    • Let’s Talk About Birds!
      Bring out the owl and finger puppets. Let the children look at the shape of the bodies, and their undersides.
      Bird Necks: since their eyes don’t move and most birds have eyes on the sides of their head they compensate by moving their heads frequently. Birds have 13-25 bones in their necks to allow for frequent motion. Mammals, including humans and giraffes have just 7 bones in their necks and fewer muscles.  Show the skeleton of a bird picture and point out the neck and other bones. It is not necessary to go over the entire skeleton. I found the toes and claws interesting as the claws are a specific bone.
      Feathers: Pass around different kinds of the feathers to feel and see how they can spread apart and then recover. Molting – at least once each year, a bird replaces all of its feathers.
    • Open up the Everybody’s Everywhere Backyard Bird Book to show the silhouettes of some typical birds (page 12). Discuss basic things that you notice JUST from the silhouette.
    • Read: Animals in Flight by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.  It is not necessary to read all the text. Some of the pictures are very small, so don’t hesitate to skip the facts with the tiny pictures if your audience is too large to enjoy that part of the book.
    • Read: Hello, I’m Here by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder. 
      The note at the end of the book about Sandhill Cranes has great information which can be shared with the children. Show the children the nests (which are not real bird nests), and how they differ from each other. The hanging nest is an oriole nest while the others don’t seem to be specific but they do have different shapes and are built a little differently.
    • Check out page 21 for Evereybody’s Everywhere Backyard Bird Book for specific claws and beaks.  
      Beaks: used for eating, cleaning and building nests. (Do we use our mouths for as many things? How many of you bite your nails or suck thumbs instead of just eating with your mouth?) A duck’s bill wouldn’t be good for chewing a mouse, nor would its webbed feet be good for holding one. Compare to owl’s sharp beak and claws.
      Claws or feet:  Not just for walking, but also for holding objects, thus often clawed. May be webbed like a duck to move in water and swim.
    • Listen to CD to hear sounds of different birds. Pick out some of the more common sounds.
    • Have the different bird seeds set out for the children to look at, feel, and see the different textures that specific birds love and eat.
  • Activities
    • Take Home Bird Feeders: If you choose to do this, you will have to purchase bird seed. Collect pine cones or slice apples, or use day-old dried bread for the base of the bird feeder. Cover with peanut butter or lard/suet (in case of peanut allergies). Lard can be purchased in grocery stores and helps birds retain their fat during the winter. See included recipe from kit. PLEASE CHECK THE Make Your own Bird-Houses and Feeders for recipes and ideas! Wrap the bird feeders in wax paper to transport home!!!
    • Stamp Fun! Take out the bird stamps and let the children use the stamps on paper.
    • Experiment: Check out the paper plate experiment to see if “hollow” bones can actually hold any weight. Experiment recipe is in the kit.
    • Send children home with any of the reproducibles: Recipe for the bird feeder; Habitat Scavenger Hunt; Bird Search; Bird Groups; Bird Count

Evaluation

Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

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