At-home and at school learning resources from Learning for a Sustainable Future
Week 25: It's All in the Song
This week's LIO is all about the birds! As spring quickly approaches, so does nesting time for all kinds of birds.

The activities below will introduce students to exploring some of the nesting habits we can see during this time of the year and shows students how we can examine how birds interact with their environment. March is also the perfect time of the year to attract birds into our schoolyard by building nesting boxes - as they typically look to 'move in' by the end of the month. This is an amazing opportunity for students to begin monitoring and examining bird behavior for the remainder of the school year!
The nesting habits of birds are examined in this inquiry-based lesson that cultivates curiosity and promotes respect for the natural world. As students explore the unique features of bird nests, they actively participate in the learning process through a series of introductory STEM activities. The activities involve creating models of bird nests, comparing and contrasting bird nests to human homes and describing how birds interact with their environment.



Activities
  • Listen to the read-aloud Birds by Kevin Henkes. Complete the Verb Bird poem and art activity
  • Spring is nesting time for birds of all kinds. Go on a quest to see what nests you can find
  • Participate in a bird-watching walk, identify the different bird behaviours
  • Birds converse with each other throughout the day to say and share messages! This Table Talk activity challenges students to communicate with another student using bird sounds
  • Listen to Bird Builds a Nest, then get outside and look for twigs, rocks, any material you can pick up easily and build a bird's nest
  • Try to build a bird nest with artificial materials instead of natural materials. How do your two nests compare?
What did you think of Nesting, Nests and Building a Home for Birds?
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Eleven-year-old Olivia is a naturalist and ardent birdwatcher who delights in the extraordinary biodiversity surrounding her home along the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, she also experienced the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, one of the most catastrophic environmental disasters in history. The devastation spurred Olivia into action. By combining her love of birds with her artistic talents, she created an outpouring of support for the Audubon Society, one of the front-line organizations involved in the cleanup. Wise beyond her years, Olivia believes that youth have the power to enact change, and she challenges all students to become active participants in environmental conservation.


Activities
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This resource provides information for teachers on registering and participating in the national monitoring program; it also contains instructions on building and locating nesting boxes to attract these and other bird species to the schoolyard. March is a perfect time to build as the birds will be looking to 'move in' by the end of the month. Students can place the boxes around the schoolyard as soon as the ground has thawed and begin monitoring and studying bird behaviour for the remainder of the school year.


Activities
  • Learn to build and maintain nesting boxes in your schoolyard or nearby park
  • In spring, many birds are on the lookout for materials to build their nests. Learn how you can offer birds nesting materials. Take it one step further by growing bird-nesting material in your schoolyard
  • Participate in a bird-focused citizen science program to learn more about birds in your area and contribute observations for science and conservation. Use the Merlin app to help you identify your bird sightings
  • Learn how to identify bird sounds and calls, then get outside and test your bird skills
  • Play the Climate Challenge game (birdday.org) where students assume the role of a bird and then figure out how climate change is affecting their lives in their food, habitat and migration
  • Investigate a human-related threat to birds and present information in a creative communication such as an infographic, news article, skit, memes, comic or game
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About Learning Inside Out

Above you will find a selection of activities, broken down by various grade levels. These guides will be released weekly and archived on our Learning Inside Out page, so you can always access the full catalogue.

All activities have been modified from resources on our R4R database, simplified and adapted for both outdoor learning in the school yard or at-home as needed. The activity descriptions above should contain all the information and links that you need!

If you'd like to view the full original resource on R4R, including curriculum connections for every province/territory, click the activity title.

We want this guide to work for you, so your feedback is invaluable to us.
Use the feedback button at the bottom of this Guide, or email us at info@LSF-LST.ca. We would also love to see photos of students engaging in the activities, please e-mail us any pictures or videos you have!
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Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) is a Canadian charity with over 25 years of experience working within the education system. Our Resources for Rethinking (R4R) database is an award-winning collection of resources that are peer-reviewed by certified teachers and connected to curriculum in all provinces and territories. R4R is recommended on many Ministry of Education websites.
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