Kids Creative Chaos: Homeschool Nature Study Ornithology

Homeschool Nature Study Ornithology

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Homeschool Nature Study: The Science of Ornithology

My kids have been taking a Homeschool Ornithology Class. They love it! The instructors have great ideas for a Nature Study on Birds. So, in today's Free Online Homeschool Lesson, I wanted to share some of the fabulous things they've done to learn about birds! Make sure you click on all the links for fun, educational videos, games, and free printables.

If you are in Indiana, discover the world of birds at the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center. Meet a Raptor every Wednesday and Friday at 4:00 p.m., and enjoy special bird programs Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.

These lessons are meant to be done over the course of week. If you choose to do a science block, you can complete the projects in one day.

Homeschool Nature Study Ornithology
Can you name this juvenile bird?

Homeschool Nature Study: Ornithology

Define Ornithology: The study of birds, including their behavior, natural history, physiology, ecology, and identification. Can you answer these bird vocabulary questions.

Grab your Journal. Run to a window or go outside on a hike. List 10 birds in your yard or neighborhood. Describe the birds. This free printable is perfect for your bird journal.

For example: 
Small, Red bird with orange beak. Tufted head. 
Seen year round = Cardinal.

If you don't know what type of bird it is, make sure you have a detailed description for your search. If you have access to a camera, snap a photo. If not, draw a simple sketch. It doesn't have to be a work of art. Just good enough to help you remember details about the birds camouflage, beak, size, habit, etc.

Do you know what makes a bird a bird? Is a Platypus a bird? Is a bee a bird? Is an airplane a bird? Is a penguin a bird? Think about why or why not? Then, watch this video.





The Cat in the Hat also knows a lot about that.
Learn to draw: Trace a Bird Printable
(Recommended for ages 2-5 yrs. or everyone who is young at heart.)

Learn about different types of birds. When you click the link, you will see a series of bird videos that include:

Puffins, Eagles, Falcons, Snowy Owls, Snowy Egrets, Condors, Emperor Penguins, and more.

After watching the videos on all of the birds, list the raptors in your journal. What is a raptor? Visit Wordsmyth to find out.

Classify your birds with these Printable Flashcards.

Language Arts Component

Compare and Contrast. Write a paper with 5 paragraphs.
Remember to include a introductory paragraph (tell me what you are going to tell me), 3 detailed paragraphs in the middle (tell me), and a summary paragraph (tell me again).

Topic: Why isn't a Platypus a bird? Why is a Penguin a bird?

In the three middle paragraphs, give supporting details on each animal. You can write more than 3 supporting paragraphs if you need to, but don't forget your summary. Write this in a Google Doc. My kids send these docs to me. If you feel so inclined, I'd love to read yours. I may even publish them in an upcoming post! Send them to lora@theplayconnection.com. I'll send some feedback on your work.


Arts and Crafts Component

Build a Popsicle Stick Bird Feeder. This is a fun construction project. Use wood glue. School glue may break down when used outdoors.

How to make a Popsicle stick bird feeder.
Popsicle stick bird feeder.

How to Make a Bird Feeder from Popsicle Sticks

First, lay the ten sticks flat, placing glue on the connecting sides.
Then, stack the sticks in a perfect square in layers with glue on the connecting ends. Eight makes the perfect height. Next, cut four pieces of yarn about 2' long. String a piece of yarn under the second stick at each corner as shown. Pull all pieces of yarn evenly and tie a knot in the top. Let dry for 24 hours. After your feeder is dry, paste in some peanut butter and sprinkle in bird seed.

You might also like:

How to Make Origami Birds


Science Lab Component

Try this Fun Science Experiment: How does a bird eat? How does the beak's shape factor in to the equation? Try this fun science experiment.

Graphic Organizer for Science Experiment

You will need the following utensils and supplies:
Eye dropper
Salad Thongs
Nutcracker
Large Serving Spoon
Tweezers

Bag Popcorn (Bugs)
Glass of Water (Nectar)
Raisins and Small Log with holes (Bugs in a Log) You can substitute a cardboard tube for this if necessary.

Click on the link above for the printable companion worksheet.

Start with a Bag of popcorn. Experiment with each utensil. Your goal is to get the popcorn into your mouth or the mouth of your partner using each utensil. Which works best. What type of bird might eat something like popcorn? What does each utensil represent? In other words, imagine a bird with a similar beak. Next, have your science partner toss you some popcorn and try to catch it with each utensil.

Place the raisins in the cardboard tube or log. Use the utensils to remove the raisins. Which works best? Remember, you are a bird. You cannot use your hands. Make a note of your findings on the graphic organizer.

Finally, try to "drink" water from the glass with each of the utensils. Which one allows you easiest access to the drink? Which one takes the longest? Would you get frustrated if you were really thirsty and had to drink water with a nutcracker?

Label the parts of a bird.


Just for Fun

Flight School Game

Birds of a feather flock together? What does this mean? Where does the phrase originate? _____________________________


Recommended Reading:


United States Capitals Lesson

Leonardo da Vinci Design Wooden Ornithopter Model Kit*




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