Thursday, November 11, 2010

It starts with one small idea...

Today the children and I were excited to notice some new varieties of birds at our bird feeder - a black capped chickadee, a junco, and a bluejay!  This sparked a flurry of interest in various kinds of birds and how we can best represent them in our classroom.

Some children decided to create their own feathered friends at the art table. It was so interesting to hear them engage in a discussion about how they might use specific materials to fashion their birds in just the right way. They helped one another to adhere together the difficult to use styrofoam materials using glue, sticks, and staples.

They all worked together, but each bird was unique! I loved hearing them describe what they interpreted each bird to look like!  I heard phrases like, "Yours looks like a penguin because of the shape of its beak," "Yours must be a bluejay because of its feathers," and "Yours is big like a goose" used to describe what the children saw in each other's artwork.

One of our children happened to have her bird reference book at school today. Some of the children inquired about whether the birds we had seen at the feeder were included in it, and they spent time looking carefully over the pages, animatedly discussing each one.

Others used the bird reference pictures found in our science center to help them carefully describe and recreate drawings depicting each of the birds.

The bird feeder became the catalyst for inspiring our children's interest in birds and representing their scientific observations in print. We were thrilled with the discussion, art making, reading and writing we were observing in our children. We can't wait to see who happens to stop for a snack next week at the feeder and the adventures it might inspire!

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