Monday, February 21, 2011

Bird classification

One of the labs in our science curriculum required going to the zoo or a nature area to view birds of different kinds. We have a great zoo, with lots of birds. We were looking forward to going!

Then Kutey fell ill. I put it off, but well, it was holding up the unit to not get the lab done! When Kutey was still sick on Saturday, I started pulling together pictures of birds to do a virtual visit to a zoo. I did try to find a zoo or aviary that had a web cam to make it a little more like a visit to the zoo, but, well, I couldn't find one.


So I collected pictures. Many of them came from Nature's Pic's. Beautiful pictures, wide variety. I printed them 8 to a page, cut them out, then hung them on the walls of the house in 5 different locations. There was a tropical area, birds of the antarctic, the African Savanna, a water habitat, and birds we see in our area.

Once I had them all set up, Kiddo and I went to each area and talked about all of the birds. The idea was to put each bird into one of seven groups. It isn't about being right, the process is what mattered. As long as Kiddo could tell me what his reasoning was for putting a particular bird into a particular group, it was fine. I did the writing--I wanted him to enjoy the activity, the writing would have made it less fun for him.

He loved it! I asked a lot of questions in the beginning, making sure he understood why a bird was going to a particular category. As we went on, however, Kiddo was telling me why as he classified the animal. I asked less questions, because it was obvious he understood.

We will still do the activity when we are able to get to the zoo, but sometimes you just have to punt. This activity worked well enough for now!

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