This week’s topic has been nesting birds. We have watched for them in the garden, we have done craft on the theme, we have learnt about them and their habitat, we have based our maths and reading learning on nesting birds, and today we rounded off the subject with our journals, poems, and a story.
All week the children have been watching the garden for signs of nesting birds. I printed off 3 sets of spotter sheets from the RSPB. You can get these by following this link : http://www.rspb.org.uk I found them under the RSPB’s Big Schools Birdwatch. As our garden birds are very similar here in Sweden, I thought these would be great. I attached them to cardboard (3 sets for 3 children), and then stapled string with a pen on the end to it. They have stayed all week by the window with their binoculars on top, so the children could come and go as they pleased and look out for nesting birds. They are really enjoyed this activity. A lot of birds have been seen and noted, but I’m not sure any evidence of nesting was sighted! We have now stuck the sheets into their nature journals, which they can refer to at anytime for reference in the future. Another activity from the RSPB that we did, and put in the journal, was labelling a bird. We have done a fair bit of bird sketching in our journals before, so this week I made it a little easier for them!!
We did not have any of the recommended stories for the week, so instead we dug out an old book from my childhood, called “The Tale of Tommy Nobody” which is a very cute story. It starts with birds nesting, and continues with the little bird Tommy trying to work out who/what he is. He meets several types of bird, and I love the way they highlight how each one of these common garden birds is unique. The suggested poem was “The Brown Thrush” by Lucy Larcom which we enjoyed, but we also dipped back into our “Around the Year” book of poems to read the “March” one. The art we enjoyed was “Still Life With Three Birds’ Nests” by Van Gogh.
As usual we have had a lot of fun with the theme for the week, although I think it’s still a little cold here at the moment for nesting (snow melted 2 days ago!). However, on my walk this morning there was definitely a lot more bird singing going on (accompanied by a very persistent woodpecker), so there are definite signs that spring is emerging even here in Sweden 🙂
The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.