Friday, September 19, 2014

Birds - Adaptations and More

There's so much to learn about birds! Going by the text book was thoroughly confusing for my eight year old so I dealt with it through worksheets and small activities.
 I have covered the topics of Beaks, Feet , Nests and also a short introduction to feathers.
Beaks are mainly different in different birds due to their eating habits. I first discussed the different kinds of beaks, showing pictures and some real examples around us (sparrow, pigeon, crow, rooster)
Then I tested his understanding using several worksheets . Here's an example.

Bird beak adaptations for food - worksheet for grade 3 and 4
In worksheets for beak, I also covered beak descriptions, examples of which beak does a bird have and why a bird has a certain beak type.

For a group of children, it is also a good idea to conduct an experiment to see which kind of beak suits best for a particular kind of food. More about this is available in a video I saw on YouTube.
Another interesting and versatile adaptation in birds are their feet. I approached the topic in a very similar way to beaks i.e. with explanation and worksheets and also explained how birds need adaptations in both beaks and feet based on their eating habits and habitats  (e.g  : a duck has a strainer beak to strain out its food from ponds and webbed feet to paddle in water ). To make it interesting I drew birds with missing beaks and feet and asked kids to fill in the missing parts.
Bird adaptations- worksheet to draw missing beak and feet of duck & heron

The video below gives an overview of beak and feet adaptations.

Most birds build their nests on trees but not all. Also the nests on trees can be peculiar. I provided a worksheet for this- there's also an interesting video on Weaver Bird's nest building to watch.
There's also an animation I found explaining different kinds of nests.

I  made a worksheet on the two kinds of feathers: down feathers and flight feathers. When ever we are on a footpath these days, we watch out for feathers and identify them as flight feathers or down feathers!
 We also discussed flightless birds like ostrich and cassowary.
Additionally we did several worksheets covering overall topics on birds.
All the worksheets are available in my product Birds- Beaks, Feet, Nests and More on the TPT Store.
 Worksheets on Birds Beaks, Feet, Nests, Feathers
A preview of this product is available for download here .
After doing this topic my child has developed a new interest of feeding birds !