Unit Title: "Absurd Birds"
Approximate Time: Time can be determined by teacher.
May do this for one month or study
birds all year.
Curriculum Areas: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social
Organizers (Essential Questions):
1. Which birds are native to our community?
2. Which foods do birds prefer?
3. How do birds interact with the plant and animal
4. How do the changing seasons effect birds?
1. Students will increase their knowledge from 5 familiar
birds to 25 native Kentucky birds.
2. Using raw data from log sheets, students will be able to
generate charts and graphs depicting food preferences.
3. Students will be able to describe ways birds interact with
animals and plants in the community.
1. Use research tools to locate source of information.
2. Construct meaning from print material through
3. Construct meaning from messages through observing.
4. Construct meaning from messages through listening.
5. Communicate ideas by qualifying numbers.
6. Gather information and communicate ideas by
7. Organize information through development and use of
8. Communicate information and ideas through
9. Communicate information and ideas through/
10. Construct meaning through visual arts.
11. Construct meaning through music.
12. Construct meaning through movement.
13. Use electronic technology to gather and organize/
14. Use appropriate and relevant scientific skills.
15. Demonstrate understanding of change in concepts.
16. Interact effectively and cooperatively with diverse/
17. Appreciate creativity and value the arts and
18. Complete tasks, make presentations and create
19. Demonstrate positive growth in self-concepts.
20. Demonstrate ability to be adaptable and flexible.
21. Demonstrate ability to be resourceful and creative.
22. Demonstrate self-control and self-discipline.
23. Demonstrate ability to learn on one's own.
24. Effectively use interpersonal skills.
25. Use positive/productive team member skills.
26. Individually demonstrate consistent/caring
27. Demonstrate ability to accept rights of others.
28. Demonstrate an understanding of a multicultural view.
29. Demonstrate an open mind to alternate perspectives.
30. Use critical skills in a variety of situations.
31. Use creative thinking skills to develop novel/construct/
32. Use problem solving to develop solutions to complex
1. Students will create a picture or photograph notebook
which contains information about birds native to Kentucky, along with graphs and charts interpreting
food preferences of birds. Pictures or photos should
have sentences to explain them. Graphs and charts
should also be explained in writing.
2. Students will create dioramas that would depict the
appropriate habitat for a chosen bird, give a written
explanation of why the bird would choose the
particular habitat. Also include how the habitat
might change from winter to spring.
Novice: Pictures or photographs do not depict a variety of birds. Report shows evidence of being done at the last minute with little understanding of the activities. There are few if any sentences that explain what is shown. Graphs have incomplete results.
Apprentice: Pictures or photographs have some variety of birds native to Kentucky. There is some accompanying explanation of the pictures. Graphs appear to show correct results but, there is little written understanding of them.
Proficient: Pictures or photographs show several birds and in their habitats and written explanation accompanies them. The graphs and charts are labeled and have written results to accompany them. The results accurately describe what the graphs and charts depict.
Distinguished: Notebook shows pictures or photographs of at least twenty birds. Each picture is accompanied with a written description. Graphs and charts are accurate and have extensive descriptions of which birds ate the preferred foods as well as the preferred food of all birds in the study.
Novice: Diorama and conference indicate a need for more experience in noting different birds and their habitat. No written description accompanies it. Student is unable to explain any differences in habitat of the bird for winter and spring. Teacher leads most of the discussion.
Apprentice: Diorama, conference show some understanding of chosen bird and habitat. Written description has some focus on changing habitats. Teacher has to interject several questions to keep conference focused.
Proficient: Diorama, conference indicate a good understanding of chosen bird, habitat, and seasons effect on habitat. Diorama is complete with trees, plants, etc. The written description is accurate and shows understanding of topic. Student is able to give a good verbal description with little guidance from the teacher.
Distinguished: Diorama, conference indicate excellent understanding of the sequence of steps involved in the changing seasons and habitat of chosen bird. Student can describe how changes influence the life of the bird. Written description shows a quality project that reflects understanding and a high level of involvement in the activity. Student can give an involved verbal description without guidance from the teacher.
1. Made bird feeders of recycled materials and placed them outdoors to begin gathering birds to our station.
2. Researched birds in various books.
3. Students watched "Audubon's Birds" laser disk programs and tried to identify native Kentucky birds and their habitats.
4. Raptore Rehabilitation, Inc., speaker talked about injuries and healing of various birds. She also gave us owl pellets which we dissected later.
5. Children interviewed parents to collect bird adages. Discussion followed about the possible meaning of the sayings.
6. Language Arts was incorporated into the unit frequently with various stories read about birds. These readings included myths, legends, folk tales, fiction and non-fiction stories. Children also wrote poetry.
7. A list of cartoon birds was assembled. Discussion centered around characteristics of the cartoon and the real bird.
8. Log sheets were kept on a daily basis for 15 days. Teams of 4 students spotted, researched and recorded various birds at the feeding stations. Teams were rotated every 30 minutes. All of the children received training in the proper use of binoculars for spotting birds and the use of the field guide in verifying the identity of a particular bird. The raw data from the log sheets was used on a database program to generate a spreadsheed to create charts and graphs of birds sighted and foods preferred. Assessment was determined by the students' ability to interpret and present data in meaningful terms and by their ability to state conclusions.
9. Hal Palmer's song "Birds" gave the students a chance to imagine themselves to be birds "soaring" over the trees. This was followed by an art assignment to draw a picture of what they would see from the sky.
10. The students were assigned the task of putting the feeding platforms out daily and restocking the food used. All students has an opportunity to be responsible for this task.
11. MECC2 "Backyard Birds Database" was used as part of the technological study of birds. Students were challenged to identity a variety of North American birds while on an imaginary class "field trip." Students must collect information about the birds characteristics, field marks, and habitat. Students interpreted data in order to solve a problem. Scientific process skills were developed by observing, communicating, comparing, organizing, relating and inferring.
12. OBIS Food Chain Game was played to give students the opportunity to participate actively in part of the chain.
13. Ranger Rick's Birds, Birds,Birds, was used for two activities: "Feet are Neat" and "Fill the Bill." These were simulation activities to design bird feet and bills for collecting bird food from stations around the room.
14. A member of the Beckham Bird Club was a speaker. She brought the class a poster of Kentucky Birds to help with research. She also used her slides to test the children on their identification of birds.
15. Migration and Directional Flight---Students made and used a Nephoscope to determine the exact direction the birds were flying.
16. The video "Kentucky Birds" was shown twice. Once at the beginning of the study and again at the end to see how many more birds students could identify. At the beginning the majority of the students knew 5 birds. At the end 28 were identified by the class.
17. Students looked up chosen birds for their dioramas using "Growlers Electronic Encyclopedia" and "Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia," and Encarta CD-Rom disks in the media center.
18. Using knowledge acquired, the children had to design space birds that might live on other planets. Included were climates and terrains of the planet. Real birds that live in extreme climates on earth were models.
19. Students groups were formed to photograph birds at the feeder, in their natural habitats on the school grounds, and some students took pictures at home or in the community for their notebooks. Photographs can be incorporated onto a CD disk and shown on the computer or used in reports as "clip art." They can also be scanned on the scanner and used in written papers.
20. Students were grouped and provided with 3 tissues, water, and eye droppers. The experiment was to place 5 drops of water on a plain tissue, one spayed with Scotch Guard, and one covered in Vaseline. Students predicted, tested, recorded and evaluated relationship of this experiment with a bird preening.
Description of Implementation:
The unit "Absurd Birds" was incorporated into every content area during the month. It was used as a "thematic unit" and all subject areas were included.
After the bird feeders were in place teams observed and logged at set time intervals during the day. Each team was give two days on the schedule and were responsible for their times. Teams for replenishing feeders worked at the beginning of each day. They were also scheduled in advance and responsible for their team's job.
Reading and language arts activities were used in place of regular "text book" activities during the day.
Science experiments were done during regular science period during the day.
Computer activities were done once a week during regularly scheduled computer lab.
Media center activities were scheduled during flexible library time.
Students were given time at the end of each day to work on notebook entries with their log teams. The final product for notebooks was completed at home by adding pictures and charts and graphs, plus written sentences of explanation.
This project was done with the aid of a grant which paid for the materials to build the platform feeders, the food for the feeders, and materials such as guide books, field glasses, and science materials, and games.
A parent volunteer was used to build the wooden platform feeders.
Outside speakers were contacted from the Louisville Zoo "Raptors" program and the Beckham Bird Club. They need to be lined up in advance.
This projected was funded by means of an "Eisenhower" grant. It was applied for in the spring for the following year.
Videos, and laser programs were check out of the resource center available to all county schools.
CD-Rom encyclopedias , MECC, Scott-Forsman Math, and ClarisWorks computer programs were available at the local school.
Discipline, subject : sciences
Public : primaire
Sek I, BWK
lower high school
3807 Klondike Lane
Fax : 502-485-8146
Pédagogie, pedagogy :
Apprentissage, learning : Students can learn techniques for identifying birds, collecting data, entering data into computer programs, analyzing data.
Enseignement, teaching : Teacher will guide students to do their own research, identification of birds, and analysis of material.
Technique : Students made use of laptop computers and the integrated package --- ClarisWorks, MECC Backyard Birds, Scott-Forsman graphing on Apple IIes in lab, Audubon's Birds laser disks and laser disk player, Video ---"Kentucky Birds," Groliers, Encarta, and Compton's CD-ROM Encyclopedias on Macintosh and IBM computer in the Media Center, camera to photograph birds, slide of birds and slide projector after photos are processed.
Société, society : Students worked on teams for many of the projects beginning with bird sightings, collecting data, entering data, analyzing data, and creating notebook
Culture : Students became aware of birds living in Kentucky, as well as characteristics of birds from color to food and habitat. They also developed an awareness of endangered birds in our state.
Institution : Students used laptop computers in their classroom, the Apple IIe computer lab, and the CD-ROM computers in the Media Center. Slide projector, laser disk player, and VCR were used in the classroom.
Logistique : a) made bird feeders, b) bought bird food types, c) researched birds, d) listened to speaker/watched slides, e) interviewed parents, f) kept log sheets, g) watched video, h) photographed birds.
Remarques, remarks :