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kid's drawing chickadee

Nora Hagerty, a first-grade teacher at Adams Elementary, kindly responded to a request for insight into how educators are using the Audubon Adventures materials. Her creative and innovative ideas clearly help her students appreciate birds and the interwoven world they share with us. Thanks to Nora and all who sponsor Audubon Adventures school kits!

chickadee drawing by ElizaNora writes: “In our first grade class, I projected the Plants Are for the Birds issue of Audubon Adventures, and read it aloud to the class (during lunch), as it’s a higher level than some first graders’ reading skills. They were enthused to discuss the newsletter’s elements during and after, making connections to their experiences and background knowledge. One student said her dad also grew coneflower in the garden, the native flower noted in a caption as providing seeds for birds. Another student contrasted the grasshopper being eaten by a bluebird in a photo with her knowledge of a praying mantis. A connection one student shared was that the elderberry enjoyed by some birds, noted in a call-out section, is also an ingredient in his own daily vitamin.

“And the learning widens: even young children can make impactful connections, as evident when, after hearing the segment about “What’s Best for Pests?”, one student expressed concern for her family friend’s use of chemicals to kill weeds, because she understands it can hurt animals.

“Later, we used an Audubon for Kids’ David Sibley step-by-step video that shows how to sketch a Black-capped Chickadee. We viewed it twice, to garner more time and skill. The students were very engaged and made great drawings. Some even added creative embellishments. The plan is to read more Adventures editions, try other integrated assignments, and do more drawings of birds to place on a temporary mural of a native oak tree in our class hallway.”

To view David Sibley’s drawing lesson, visit Audubon for Kids/Nature Activities. You can even try it out for yourself, or with any children in your life!

–Cecelia Hagen