Science class does not have to be boring. There are plenty of fun and exciting ways to get and keep students motivated. Ornithology, the study of birds, can be used to turn an ordinary science class into an exciting adventure for your students.
Students love to take pictures. So, why not introduce them to the beautiful worlds of ornithology by having them create a photo journal of the birds in your area? The students can use a digital camera and a computer to capture pictures of local birds. As they observe the different variety of birds, they can record important information about the birds such as where they make their nest, their natural geographical area, their mating habits, and how they raise their chicks.
Field trips/outdoor activities
Students love to get away from school. Schedule a field trip to your local park, lake, or zoo. Have your students observe and document the birds they observe and their behavior. The students can also use this opportunity to photography birds to add to their photo journal. If you can’t schedule a field trip, then just take the students outdoors and have them observe and document information on the birds in your school yard.
Power point presentations
Assign each student a bird to research. Have them design a power point presentation about their bird. Design a rubric for the students to follow for the presentation. Have the students include an introduction to the bird and other relevant information like the bird’s characteristics, feeding habits, geographical range, and mating habits. Students should be encouraged to keep the text on their slides to a minimum, to include bullets, and to use large, readable text.
Blog about it
Students love to share their opinions. Why not have them start a science blog about birds? They can add pictures and any new and exciting facts that they learn about birds.
Divide your class into small groups. Assign each group two different birds to research. The groups will then compare and contrast the two different birds using the information that they have obtained. Each group can then design a poster or a power point that describe each bird and how they are alike and how they are different. Two great categories that your students can compare and contrast are land birds and water fowl.
Over time, all things change to fit their environment. Birds are no different. Charles Darwin studied the bird of the Galapagos Islands. He noticed the differences in these birds and other birds. Help your students understand how birds have evolved and adapted over time. Allow the students to study the bones or pictures of historical birds and those of modern birds. Have them attempt to identify and explain any adaptations they observe.
You can also let your students play “The Mating Game”. This game is presented by the Public Broadcasting System, and it helps students better understand the process of natural selection. “The Mating Game” requires the students to help a single male or female animal contestants select a mate. The students do this by choosing questions to ask three mystery guests. As the mystery guest answer the questions, the students get to decide which guest would be the best mate for the contestant.
Let’s not forget the power of film. Get your students interested in ornithology by letting them watch documentaries on the different types of birds. You can even have your students make their own documentary to be shared with the class.
Make science class unforgettable. Introduce students to ornithology using the activities listed above and watch their interests soar.