Our Bird Inquiry

About a month ago (when it was still chilly out), a few students noticed several birds outside the window on the field.  They wondered if the birds had returned from the south.  Others mentioned that not all birds flew south and stayed here during the winter months.
More and more students became curious about the birds out the window and spent a large part of the afternoon talking about them.

We set out a provocation to see what students knew about birds.
We were very surprised to see how much they knew!
During Sharing Time, these students shared what they knew about birds and others contributed too!
We decided to track our thinking on chart paper so we could revisit some of our theories and wonders.
We walked down to the Library Learning Commons and asked our librarian Mr. C. for some books on birds.  The children spent so much time looking at all of the pictures and asking great questions!

I made these bird cards to get an idea of which bird(s) they were most interested in.  They began drawing their favourites and asking more questions.
As the interest in birds continued, we read more books to help us answer our wonders.
One of my favourite books is Mama Built a Little Nest, and we used this book to set up a provocation inviting the children to build and design their own nest.
We even spent much time watching the live bird feeder (I found it on You Tube).
We not only looked for different birds we could identify but also listened for their sounds.

L.G.:  The Blue Jay makes a "jay jay" sound!  I read that in the book!
We asked the children if they thought any of these birds would be good pets.

J.C.:  I have 2 budgies at home!
 A.A.:  I would love a bird because some birds can talk to you, you know?

One parent (J.C.) sent us pictures of their pet birds for the students to see!
 This provocation had children come up with a story about birds, now that we researched and found out what birds eat, how they make their nests and even knew the name of many types of birds.
This lesson, labelling the parts of the bird, came from A Day in First Grade.
Many of the questions around the different birds we were studying were about how big they were.
Ms. Bowes, an E.I. in our classroom, shared with us her pictures of a trip she went on and saw flamingos.  The children were so excited to take a measuring stick and find out how big they truly are!

A.D.:  I'm the same size as the flamingo!!!

So we set out large poster paper and helped the students research and draw the birds life size!
We had the children also add their research to each bird they chose to draw and paint.
Some children also decided to create different backgrounds, as we learned some birds only live in certain places around the world.
We set out Plasticine and invited the children to make their own bird.
They all came out incredible!
They even enjoyed drawing them!
In our sensory bin, we added shredded paper (you can buy this at a craft store) and cut up small pieces of yarn.  The students used tweezers (these are from Wintergreen Learning Materials) to pick up the "worms" and feed the birds (place them in the containers).  It made for a great fine motor activity!
After reading the book Riki's Birdhouse, we invited the children to use the 3-D figures we had collected from a few weeks back (see post here) to design their own plan and make a bird feeder.
After making our bird feeders we went outside to find the ideal place to hang them.
After we read the book to the class, many children took an interest in the book An Egg is Quiet, as they enjoyed looking at the pictures and wondering about the eggs.
We left the book out with some plastic eggs (I picked these up around Easter at the Dollar Store) and as the students learned what the eggs looked like they painted them.
Finally it came time to assemble our documentation.  We are fortunate to have a large hallway and wall space just outside our room.
Here are some closer pictures: 

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