What a better way to introduce environmental education, than urban ecology? These young scientists learned how to discover nature in every day life, in the city park, around the school, and even in small places that are easily overlooked, like the amazing diversity of mushrooms growing near a coconut tree trunk! This was one of my favorite lessons, I was so impressed with the insight these students had, and how great their field journals turned out.
Day 2: Birds in My World
After the kids were hooked on environmental education, it was time to introduce, the marvelous world of birds. Some kids were already excited about birds, while others weren't sure. We did a quick lesson about what makes a bird a bird, and dived right in. With the help of Cornell Lab of Ornithology's BirdSleuth Curriculum, students played a fun game of "Bird Bingo," near the school garden, where they tried to observe different types of birds, by color, behavior, and more. The first to get Bingo wins! It was a hoot. The trick was - all the clues were in English! So students had to work together to win.
Day 3: Planning Our Recycled Bird-Feeder Designs
Students learned that 'real scientists' plan before they create experiments, or try to test a hypothesis. So, what a better way than to design bird feeders for the school garden? Some students were more visual, while others wrote down step by step directions. They had great ideas - all feeders should have a perch for the birds to stand on, and the plastic bottles might need some decorations to attract the birds too...check out Day 4 pictures to see how our feeders turned out!
Day 4: Making the School Garden a Home for Birds!
Our recycled Bird Feeders come to life! Students finish cutting, and decorating their feeders, and put in different types of seed to see which the birds like best (seeds versus millet), others hang their feeders high, and some low. Then it was time for observation - whose bird feeder will the birds choose? Students practiced their best observation skills and wait for birds to come. Though, it started raining, so we didn't see any birds today. They continued to check each day, we were convinced the birds only came when we weren't looking ;)
Day 5: Mastering our Observation Skills (and English!)