Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2015 via @RSPB_Learning

5 January - 13 February via the RSPB

Cross-curricular activities for teachers and group leaders

Wild birds are an unbeatable teaching resource. Take a look at these ideas and see if you can get creative in your classroom this winter.

Feeding birds

birdcakeThe first step towards using birds as a teaching resource is to attract them to an area of your school where they can be easily seen. Feeding birds is an easy way of doing this. You can set up a feeding station outside the classroom window with different feeders and food to attract a wide range of species.

A practical task is making seed cakes for birds. This is a fantastic, messy activity. Children love to making bird cake just as much as the birds like to eat it!

Make it before the day of your birdwatch to attract some feathery visitors, or on the day itself while the children are waiting for their turn to watch.

For instructions on how to make bird cake, visit: https://www.rspb.org.uk/youth/makeanddo/activities/birdcake.asp

Make a recycled bird feeder

birdfeederCreate your own feeding station outside your classroom with everyday objects.

A variety of foods will attract different species of birds. For example, starlings eat fruit, seeds and berries, while robins mainly eat insects but also like cheese. Record which birds prefer which food.

For instructions on how to make a recycled bird feeder, visit:

https://www.rspb.org.uk/youth/makeanddo/activities/birdfeeder.asp

Turn your classroom into a bird hide

Get your children to make their own bird hide.

Choose an area in the classroom. Stick sheets of black sugar paper on the window just above the children’s head height. Leave slots 3-4cms wide at sitting or standing eye levels for children to look through. With hushed silence and noses pressed up against the window, children can watch without disturbing the birds.

Put up pictures of the birds in the hide you are most likely to see and encourage children to record what birds they are seeing or draw them.

You could hide pictures of birds around the classroom or perhaps in the garden if you have one, and ask the children to find them.

Living bar graph

Using your Big Schools’ Birdwatch data, collate into one set of class results. Display these results for children to see.

Tape a large, clear floor space in the classroom or outdoor area as a right angle to represent a graph. Along one axis, designate a place for each species of bird recorded. These could be labelled. Ask children to form lines in these places, each child representing one bird, using the information from the displayed results.

Encourage the children to answer questions such as: Where is the shortest line? What does this mean? Which bird was seen the most or least? How many more starlings were seen than robins?

Go online

You can find these and a host of other downloadable activities, including fantastic stories, recipes and make and dos with your children at https://www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch/resources.aspx

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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