Science Club – Birds

Birds
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Arrival Craft: decorate the outside of boxes shaped like birds. I got these boxes from Baker Ross (who, unfortunately, aren’t giving me free stuff for all these mentions, they just sell great stuff.) If you don’t want to buy these, you could get the same effect by making cards, and drawing birds on the front. Children could copy pictures of real birds, or make up their own design.

 

Demonstration: Show the children the bones of a chicken (we ate the chicken at the weekend, then boiled the bones to get the last of the meat off), talk about the bones we can see. Talk about organs inside birds, compare it to the organs we have inside us.

I gave the children pictures of bird skeletons I drew, to stick inside the lids of their bird boxes.
Then I gave out lungs, hearts and simple digestive systems I had drawn for them to cut out and stick in the bottoms of their boxes.

I printed the skeletons on white paper, the digestive systems on green paper and the hearts and lungs on red paper.
BirdSkeletons

Individual Task: draw (or stick in) a bird skeleton on the inside of the lids of the boxes, then stick various organs inside the boxes.
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Gather together: show some big pictures of birds, ask the children to spot differences between them (beak size and shape, size of bird, eyes, colour). Talk about what the birds might use different shapes of beak for.

What do we call animals that only eat plants? What do we call animals that eat other animals?

My boys wanted a play this week, so I wrote a simple one for the children to perform. It’s at the bottom of this post.
I made masks for the bird characters to wear. The waiter read their part and I prompted the birds, so there was no need to rehearse in advance.

 

Active Science: put pictures of different things birds eat all over the floor. Put the bird masks on chairs. The children should gather up the pictures and ‘feed’ them to the right types of bird.

 

Break for drink and snack, read ‘A Duck so Small’.

 

Optional Extension:

  • Make bird treats (lard and seeds on a string) to take home. [I actually left the lard and we made the treats the following week instead – whoops!]

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Bird Play: What Birds Eat.

Cast:

Waiter

Kingfisher

Robin

Owl

Greenfinch

 

Waiter: Hello and welcome to my restaurant – The Eyrie, where there’s always a table for birds.

Oh, it looks like I have a customer!

[Kingfisher sits down at the table.]

Waiter: My very first customer, how exciting. I’m going to go and get a big plate of my very best bird seed!

[Waiter puts a plate of seeds on the table.]

Waiter: Hello and welcome to my restaurant.

I’ve got you this lovely big plate of my very best bird seed.

Bon appetit!

Kingfisher: Yuck!

Waiter: Oh, no! This kingfisher doesn’t like bird seed.

Let me think.

Kingfishers have long, sharp beaks, like javelins, good for hunting fish.

The kingfisher must want fish to eat!

[Waiter puts a fish on the table.]

Kingfisher: Yum!

Waiter: Phew, that’s a relief.

I’ll remember that: less seeds, more fish!

[Kingfisher leaves.]

[Robin enters and sits down at the table.]

Waiter: Hello and welcome to my restaurant.

I’ve got you this big, juicy fish to eat.

Bon appetit!

Robin: Yuck!

Waiter: Oh, no! This robin doesn’t like fish.

Let me think.

Robins have short, sharp beaks, like tweezers, perfect for catching insects.

The robin must want insects to eat.

[Waiter puts insects on the table.]

Robin: Yum!

Waiter: Phew, that’s a relief.

I’ll remember that: less fish, more insects!

[Robin leaves.]

[Owl sits down at table.]

Waiter: Hello and welcome to my restaurant.

I’ve got you an assortment of tiny, crunchy insects.

Owl: Yuck!

Waiter: Oh, no! This owl doesn’t like little insects.

Let me think.

Owls have sharp, hooked beaks, ideal for tearing apart mice.

The owl must want mice to eat.

[Waiter puts mouse on the table.]

Owl: Yum!

Waiter: Phew, that’s a relief.

I’ll remember that: less insects, more mice!

[Owl leaves.]

[Greenfinch sits down at table.]

Waiter: Hello and welcome to my restaurant.

I’ve got a delicious, fat mouse for you.

Greenfinch: Yuck!

Waiter: Oh, no, the greenfinch doesn’t like mice.

I know!

[Waiter puts insects on the table.]

Greenfinch: Yuck!

Waiter: Oh, no, not mice, and not insects.

I know!

[Waiter puts fish on the table.]

Greenfinch: Yuck!

Waiter: Oh, no, this just gets worse and worse!

Not mice, not insects, not fish.

Let me think.

Greenfinches have short, stubby beaks, which are exactly right for crunching open seeds.

Here, try this plate of my very best bird seed.

Greenfinch: Yum.

Waiter: Well, that was a busy first day. Who would have thought that birds would be so fussy?

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