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BirdNote in the Classroom

learn Birds greenboard

Many educators are using BirdNote in the classroom and beyond.

You'll find lessons below to use with your students, developed by other educators willing to share them.


• If you use any of these lessons, we'd like to hear about your experience.
• And if you are an educator using BirdNote in the classroom or elsewhere, we'd love to learn how.

K - 2nd     3rd - 5th     6th - 8th    9th - 12th     Lifelong Learning


Kindergarden through 2nd grade

Reading Aloud About Birds

Grade 1: Janice McClintock (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania)

Janice uses this lesson to introduce her first-grade class to non-fiction reading. Using photos, personal stories, and fun bird facts, she brings the birds alive. Students read aloud together from a book about birds and later add bird drawings and facts to their journals. BirdNote stories are a great resource to learn new facts and to see photos of the birds.

Are you a teacher who uses BirdNote with this age group? Let us know!

3rd grade through 5th grade

AK girl at computerBirds of Alaska

Grades 4-5:  Jessie Soder (Gustavus, Alaska)

Jessie works with her students to build and maintain awareness for birds and nature throughout the school year. Each student researches at least 12 Alaskan bird species to be published in a book of Alaskan birds at the end of the school year. Students also undertake a year-long study where they collect data at specific sites to answer a hypothesis. All field trips are summarized on the class blog, and students keep a checklist of the bird species they see throughout the school year.

Stately State Birds

Grades 3-5:  Richard Santangelo (New York, New York)

This lesson can be done in two sessions or extended. After listening to BirdNote’s podcast on state birds, students will identify their state bird and feathered representatives of other states, as well as discover which attributes helped them get elected to office. Students will research their bird’s habitat needs and design ways to make their community more bird friendly for their feathered friends. This lesson covers learning standards in life science, language arts, speaking and listening, geography, and technology.

Bird Migrations and Adaptations

snowy owl headGrade 5:  Rahiel Housey-Johnson (Hamtramck, Michigan)

Teacher Rahiel Housey-Johnson and her students became curious when a Snowy Owl perched outside their classroom window one winter five years ago. The children were concerned that the owl was lost and wanted to know more about Snowy Owls. Now her students listen to BirdNote every day to learn about birds and nature. The fifth-graders love the sound effects and the theme song. Rahiel says, “I think birds symbolize mystery, hope, freedom, and other concepts that urban students with a low socio-economic status embrace freely.” They remind her every day around noon to tune in and turn it up. (And thanks to Chris Felcyn on WRCJ FM 90.9 for airing the show!)

Birds of Washington State

Grade 4:  Emily Czerwonka (Lynnwood, Washington)

This creative and modifiable unit really excites Ms. Czerwonka's fourth-grade classes. The lessons encourage students to develop and use a wide variety of skills while learning about birds native to Washington State.  Researching, reading, writing, drawing, software use, art work - all combine to cover many Next Generation Science Standard concepts and meet a variety of Common Core Standards.  Individual students with differing learning styles and competence levels have an opportunity to shine while gaining new knowledge. The group project encourages sharing skills and allows for students to learn from each other.  When the unit is completed, students proudly share their projects and knowledge of native birds with an open house for community visitors and presentations to other classes.

Are you a teacher who uses BirdNote with this age group? Let us know!

6th grade through 8th grade

Calling All Birds

Grades 6-8:  Richard Santangelo (New York, New York)

Looking for an interactive lesson to enhance your physics curriculum? After listening to BirdNote’s podcast on birdsongs and calls, students will use spectrograms as a visual tool to identify different species of birds by sound. Students will also study an animated model of a bird’s syrinx to understand how birds are able to perform their impressive acts of vocalization.  This lesson can also be used with high school students.

Are you a teacher who uses BirdNote with this age group? Let us know! 

9th grade through 12th grade

Birdwatching Through the Lens of Diversity

Grades 9-12:  Richard Santangelo (New York, New York) with Drew Lanham (Clemson University)

“Conserving birds and their habitat is a moral mission that needs the broadest and most diverse audience possible to be successful.” - Dr. Drew Lanham.

Birdwatching or “birding” is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in the United States, and as of 2011, there were 47 million birders, ages 16 and older, spying our feathered friends. So why is this fast-growing hobby not reflective of the communities where we live? The BirdNote video "Rules for the Black Birdwatcher" with Dr. Drew Lanham introduces the topic of the lack of diversity in birdwatching. Students will research and discuss this question and then explore strategies to increase diversity in birdwatching and conservation in their communities. Teachers should plan to take at least two class periods for this lesson.

Who Is Behind Those Binoculars?

Grades 9-12:  Richard Santangelo (New York, New York) with Drew Lanham (Clemson University)

Communities engaged in birdwatching and bird conservation are motivated to help relieve environmental pressures on birds and their habitats. Having more diverse voices in the conservation field will help to identify more local environmental problems and develop solutions to those problems. This lesson is meant to be a follow-up to the "Birdwatching Through the Lens of Diversity" lesson. It uses the BirdNote video "Behind the Binoculars" with Drew Lanham to give another view of the value of diversity in birdwatching. Then students will discuss barriers to diversity in birdwatching in their community and plan a field trip that attracts diverse participation. Teachers should plan to take at least two class periods for this lesson.

Calling All Birds

Grades 9-12:  Richard Santangelo (New York, New York)

Looking for an interactive lesson to enhance your physics curriculum? After listening to BirdNote’s podcast on birdsongs and calls, students will use spectrograms as a visual tool to identify different species of birds by sound. Students will also study an animated model of a bird’s syrinx to understand how birds are able to perform their impressive acts of vocalization.   This lesson can also be used with middle school students.

Are you a teacher who uses BirdNote with this age group? Let us know!
 

Lifelong Learning

No activities here yet. Are you a teacher who uses BirdNote with this age group? Let us know!

Share your lessons using BirdNote with others!

Are you an educator using BirdNote in the classroom or elsewhere? Tell us how.

Questions? Comments? Ideas?

Email info@birdnote.org with EDUCATION in the subject line. Thank you.

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Tags: lesson plan, lesson, class, classes, classroom, teach, teaching, teacher, education, educator, school

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