Our project began after we read the book, "Mama built a little nest", by Jennifer Ward.
“There are so many different kinds of birds—and those birds build so many different kinds of nests to keep their babies cozy. With playful, bouncy rhyme, Jennifer Ward explores nests large and small, silky and cottony, muddy and twiggy—and all the birds that call them home!” ~http://www.amazon.ca
The children were so intrigued by the variety of nests. We picked our favorites and learned about the birds that lived in these nests. The children chose: a nest made out of mud (flamingo), a nest that floats in the water (grebe), a nest made out of a hole in the ground (burrowing owl), and a nest made of giant sticks (bald eagle). The pictures in the book are fabulous, but they weren’t real photographs. We were curious to know what these nests really look like. Google came to the rescue. The children quickly learned which birds matched which nests
The children were so excited about nests that they began to make their own nests at recess. With all of this genuine interest, Miss Holman and Mr. Lantz knew they would have to take this idea further. First, we made a list, posing this problem to the children: what do birds need to make a nest?
The kids were full of ideas:
While the kids were sorting, we heard and saw the most interesting things.
After we sorted, it was time to build. The kids were each given a piece of thick cardboard as the base. They were free to build with any materials with only 2 conditions:
Can the nests survive the “wind test”?
The kids were very imaginative and did an excellent job. Here are some of the nests after Day 1:
As Day 2 began, we took a moment to look at some real nests. Mrs. Sterling, Mr. Lantz, and Miss Holman had brought in some nests that we found abandoned at home. The children we asked to observe the nests and find something that they all had in common.
These are the ideas the children had:
With that in mind, the children were sent back to their nests to make some adjustments. This time, they had to pass the egg test. If the egg falls out when the wind blows, they would have to fix the nest so that it wouldn’t.
It was so amazing to watch the kids fine-tune what they had already created.
After Day 2, the children thought they had the perfect nests and called it a day.
Now that our building is done, the children were challenged to use their imaginations to create a bird to live in their nest. The children drew a picture of what their bird would look like and what it would be called.
The children did such a great job creating birds in their imaginations that we wondered what kind of egg their bird would lay. After reading “An Egg is Quiet” by Dianna Hutts Aston, the children learned that eggs can have many different colours, shapes, sizes, and textures. That was all the information we needed. The kids went straight to work.
Curricular Objectives Covered by our Nest Project
I can explore and investigate objects in the environment
I can generate ideas to make sense of objects and relationships
I can demonstrate some ways of organizing materials (i.e. collecting, arranging, creating, and
I can select and works with a variety of materials to build structures
I can use materials for a purpose
I know that I need to take care of materials and use them without wasting them
I have started to use some technology in my learning activities
I am aware of the importance of protecting the environment
I can describe a home for a bird
I can recognize familiar animals, what they look like, and where they live
I can identify familiar shapes in the environment (i.e. circles)
I know there are different colours, shapes, patterns, and textures in the environment
I can tell you what is the same and what is different in living things, objects, and materials
I can describe objects in my environment, sort objects according to things that are the same, and
match objects as going together
I can compare objects based on length
I can build and describe 3-D objects
I can suggest ways to gather ideas and information
I can find information from a variety of different places
I can use pictures, photographs, and video programs to find information
I can use new words and vocabulary associated with our project
I can ask questions to understand new information
I can identify some individual words in texts and on the word wall
I can recognize capital letters and periods in print texts
I can write a sentence
I can speak in a clear voice to share ideas and information
I can make comments about what we are talking about
I can connect letters with sounds in words
I can hear and identify dominant sounds in spoken words
I can use drawings to illustrate ideas and information
I can listen to the ideas of others
I can experiment with a variety of art materials to create 2- and 3-D forms
I can use past experiences to develop new ideas
I can explore familiar materials in new ways
I can respond to and interpret visual images, by viewing natural forms
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.