Carrin taught 3rd grade for ten years, worked as a learning specialist with K-5 students, and has a Master's degree in Elementary Education.
After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
- Describe the locations of and the materials used in bird nests
- Create a nest using materials birds would use
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
- Computer with internet for students to use in pairs or individually
- Paper towel tubes for every student
- Construction paper
- Card stock
- Raffia ribbon
- Fallen leaves (not too dried or they will crumble)
- Small twigs
- Styrofoam cups (number depends upon the kinds of nests students choose to make)
- Before the students start their research, it would be helpful to have a list of birds from which the students can choose. You might want to list birds in your region, or if you want the students to explore more exotic nests and birds, do a search for birds' nests and provide the names of those birds for the students. This preparation will also allow you to see if you will need any other materials for the students to build their nests.
- The students might like to help you gather leaves and twigs during recess or bring them from home before the project starts.
- Ask students to tell about any birds' nests they might have in their yards.
- Find out what the students know about the materials used and the purpose for the nests. Ask what factors into the bird's choice of location for its nest.
- Pass out the bird names or allow the students to choose from the list of birds.
- Explain that the students will have some time to research different kinds of birds' nests.
- Students will need to take notes on their research. Put the following questions on the board as some of the things the students should address:
- What kind of bird are you researching?
- What is the bird's habitat?
- Who does the nest building?
- Are there any rituals the bird does to attract a mate?
- What kinds of things do the birds use to build the nest and why?
- Where does the bird build the nest and why?
- How long do the nests last?
- How do the birds incubate the eggs?
- Give the students 15-30 minutes to research.
- After the students have finished researching, explain that they will be building a bird's nest using the art supplies provided. Students should try to build the nest they researched, since they are the experts.
- Students should use the paper towel tube as a tree branch if needed for their kind of nest.
- If students are building a nest made from sand (or leaves and grasses), use the Styrofoam cup as the base. Cover it with glue and then pour sand (or leaves and grasses) over it. For the bottom of the nest, tape the card stock to the cup.
- After the students are done building, they should clean their areas and organize their notes for sharing.
- Allow time for the students to share their findings and their nests with the class. In their presentations, they should answer the questions listed above for the other students.
- Students can add more to their presentations by finding a video or photos of their bird and the nest. They can add details about the bird's habitat and predators. How does the nest help protect the eggs or the young from predators?
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