Friday, May 17, 2013

Sequoyah Third Graders "Discover Birds"!

An enthusiastic group of third graders at Sequoyah Elementary School were treated to the Discover Birds Program on May 14th by the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society (KTOS).
Sixty-five students, representing the school's three third grade classes, enjoyed small-group bird walks led by KTOS volunteers.  The students spotted birds on the school campus and were treated to closer views of details through birding scopes brought by KTOS volunteers.  
Students learned to notice size, shape, feather color, eye-color and whether the bird had a crest.  Sometimes the bird's song and chirp notes could also be identified.  Listening to a bird app helped students begin to learn bird songs and sounds as they identified the bird.
KTOS volunteers were excited to learn how much the students already knew about birds.  Several could identify birds on the ID sheets before they took the bird walk.  It was fun for these students to add new information, like the orange color of the cardinal's beak, and to identify a bird's song while actually seeing its bright details through a spotting scope.
Additionally, the students rotated through a Bird Treasures presentation with hands-on objects they could see up close.  Bird nests, owl pellets, feathers and talons were among the items that children could examine as they visited this part of the program.
A slide presentation on birds rounded out the program, giving the students another opportunity to see the variety of birds that occur in Tennessee and the many different characteristics of these birds, including different beaks, feet, leg lengths and colors.
Each child received a Discover Birds Activity Book, compliments of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society.  One class was prepared with Tennessee Bird Checklists, cards with a list of Tennessee birds on which students could record the birds they saw during their bird walks.
Classroom teachers received a welcome packet developed by Billie Cantwell, KTOS president, including Discover Birds project information, a 2013 Wild Birds Unlimited calendar and newsletter, a Cornell poster of common feeder birds, Watchable Wildlife items, and a KTOS brochure.  

KTOS extends appreciation to Dian Hanisek for coordinating the visit with third graders at Sequoyah Elementary School!  

Photo credits:  All photos in this post by Billie Cantwell.

To see more of the birds that were seen and heard by students on their bird walks visit this link:  Tennessee Birds.  To find out more information about the Discover Birds Program contact KTOS.

Other links and resources:
To find out more about birds and hear their songs visit Cornell's All About Birds and type in the name of the bird you want to see.
Sequoyah Elementary School
Knoxvile Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society
Tennessee Ornithological Society
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