Every once in a while, I come across a great homeschooling freebie. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology sent us classroom materials including a bag of Pennington bird seed and a suction cup bird feeder. I wanted to stick the bird feeder to our classroom window, but Paul thought seed falling into the gutters might be a problem.
I decided we could use the bird seed for a craft, since we couldn't use it in the feeder. The science program we're working on reviewing has challenged me to let the kids figure things out on their own, so I simply provided materials and ideas, and let the kids come up with their own bird feeders.
heavy string or twine
empty toilet paper tubes
After setting everything out and explaining, I got out of the way and let them go to it.
They each came up with a different design. I love watching their creative trial & error process.
The basic steps are: Use the twine to attach the tubes to each other and to make a hangar.
Spread tube or tubes with peanut butter.
Add birdseed. You can roll the tube in the bowl of birdseed or sprinkle it on. The peanut butter is a very effective "glue" for the seeds. That's it! Easy peasy and open to creative interpretation.
I asked the kids to consider where the birds might "perch" while they are eating when coming up with their designs.
Then we went out to find a spot to hang them.
I hope our neighborhood birds are good at Easter egg hunts!
Eli's design is very secure. Those tubes will not be coming apart.
Brianna eventually settled on placing hers here.
Eli hung his under the picture spot.
The Cornell kit also included several pairs of binoculars, coupons for additional bird seed, lesson plans, and certificates. The boys used the binoculars to watch for birds.
Sure enough, somebody was soon curious what the humans were up to out back.
We'll be watching over the next few weeks to see if we can catch them having a nibble.
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