October 7, 2004


Today we took a field trip and had a great class on birds. The kids began by looking talking about birds and their different body parts and what makes them similar and different from other animals. They had some stuffed birds the kids could look at and touch and they enjoyed feeling them and seeing what they looked like. They especially enjoyed the discussion of bird underwear and seeing what that was. Then they talked about some different kinds of birds, where they might live and what they might eat. Then they played a great game where they got to use different "beaks" to try to catch their food. They pretended to be ducks, herons, woodpeckers and cardinals and used tweezers to food tongs to try to pick up a variety of things. Ciaran's favorite was fishing like a heron - that is all he wanted to do. Rhiannon liked using the tweezers to be a woodpecker and get bugs out of a tree stump. It was a great game and really brought home the lessons they learned.

Then they talked about different body parts on a bird and how a bird digests its food since it does not have teeth. They learned about the birds "crop" and how then they each got a handful of rocks and put some seeds in and mashed them around with the rocks to demonstrate how the crop works in some birds. They thought this was hard to do but enjoyed it.

We finished up with a nice long hike, thankfully it was a beautiful day. We had bird callers (which apparently were just the insides of those stuffed birds from stores)and the kids took turns calling the birds. At first we did not find any but at the swampy area they saw a turtle and then some herons and ducks. On our way back we saw some woodpeckers and chickadees and a few others - they also got to see turkeys. The fall leaves were beautiful and starting to change now so the scene was very pretty as were the smells.

After the official class was over the kids had an opportunity to play the games of catching with the beaks again and to put on a puppet show with some great animal puppets, look at books, color and utilize the other nice opportunities available. It was a good time and I am glad we went - it was a nice break to the focus on campaigning of this week.


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