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Elementary Science

Connecting with Backyard Nature

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Lisa Lang Lisa Lang 1703 Points

I wanted to create something dynamic to share with my students before visiting the bird feeders situated behind the school. I created a set of 'I Wonder' digital flashcards using google slides. I used royalty-free images of common birds in our area to make my slides (from The students were engaged as I introduced each card with an 'I Wonder' slide, then the image, followed by the type of bird. With a quiet show of hands the children shared characteristics they noticed about each bird which I then recorded on a flip chart (beak, feathers, feet, colors, size, etc). This preparation encouraged them to look more closely at the birds outside and it gave them the vocabulary they needed to record observations in their field journals.  

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

Hi Lisa! As a bird watcher, I really like your approach to helping students study and identify birds. I attended a program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology one summer, and the leader of one of the bird walks was from Europe. He noted that most Americans trying to identify a bird immediately start paging through the field guide looking for a match. In Europe, however, birders would first consider and discuss the size, shape, coloration, habitat, song, identifying marks, and other salient characteristics before going to the guide. His research showed that this latter approach makes the experience much richer and leads to more accurate identifications! Thanks for sharing and Happy Birding! -- Mary B

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