homeschool classroom-Bird Studies-boy looking through binoculars

In honor of International Migratory Bird Day 2017, Home Educators of Virginia is focusing our homeschool classroom on ornithology and a bird unit studies..

“Stress and Your Relationship with God”

Homeschooling children while keeping up with the laundry, keeping the house clean, and keeping our families fed can cause any homeschool mom to feel stressed. In this article, Elizabeth Moyer at the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, shares six Biblical methods for handling stress including worshiping God, praying, and reading scripture. Putting our focus on the Lord and His Word will enable us to  “…mount up with wings as eagles …”

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1.2 Feathered Friends for the Family

The National Audubon Society has resources that can help take your family outside birding. These resources range from recipes for bird food, ideas for making your yard bird-friendly, as well as suggestions for vegetation to include in your landscape to encourage visits from your feathered neighbors.

You can search Audubon’s Native Plant Database to identify native plants to include in your landscape that will draw birds in your area to your yard. Why not make it a family project?

There is an array of teacher resources for studying birds at this ornithology website.

This National Audubon Society lists parks and wildlife refuges in the Old Dominion that are great for birding excursions.

You can start a family hobby of birding with this beginners’ guide to birding.

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1.3 Birding Unit Studies & Resources for the Very Young

First School has lesson plans that incorporate printable crafts, activities, coloring pages, and related early childhood resources on birds.

You can use the free printable notebooking page and the resources at Joy in the Home to create a study of birds.

A great way to introduce a unit study to your preschoolers is through books. This list of books about birds will help you get started.

You will find an additional bird book list here.

This list of books is broken down into the age groups of 2 to 5, 4 to 8, and over 9.

You can tie teaching your child colors with your bird study using these coloring pages, which are listed by type of bird.

Your child will love making edible bird nests with your help and these instructions.

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1.4 Birds and Bird Watching

Your students can use the animal database at the National Zoo to learn more about the birds in the park. Simply select birds in the “animal type” pull-down menu (leaving the “search animals” box empty) and click apply. A list of birds found at the Zoo will be displayed. You can click on each type of bird to view details about that bird.

You can follow five steps to do this John James Audubon Nature Notebooking and Bird Study. This page has suggestions for adapting the study to your family’s needs, as well as links to other bird unit study resources.

This Backyard Bird checklist will help your students keep track of the types of birds they see in their own backyard.  Just download the checklist and start bird watching.

Kid’s online book, Barn Owls Habitat, Habits, and Prey, is a great resource to teach your children about owls. You can also download and print it to give each of your students a copy.

As part of their resources on owls, Kid also has five videos to enhance your study.

You will find bird coloring pages and word search puzzles, as well as links to other resources at the San Antonio Audubon Society kid’s page.

This family used pastels to draw some favorite birds. Perhaps using this medium will take your children’s coloring to a new level.

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1.5 Ornithology Research

What does it take to become a birder? The Virginia Society of Ornithology has the answer. You will find advice, as well as links to recommended field guides,  and many links to other resources. The VSO occasionally schedules birding field trips in Virginia.

If your high schooler has a smartphone, he can download one or more of these apps to pursue birding.

The National Audubon Society has scientific articles on birds and birding. Your high school student can read and do research on pesticides and their link with threatened birds, barn swallows, hummingbirds, and other ornithological studies. Please note this webpage may have references to evolution and other materials your family might consider unacceptable.

Most people find hummingbirds unique and intriguing. This Audubon article on hummingbirds and the necessary brain power they possess to move the way they do could be a starting place for a research paper.

This article on hummingbirds could be another resource for a research paper.

Here is a list of research papers on hummingbirds. The more scholarly of these papers could be used as examples on how to write a scientific research paper.

This article delves into the science of the ruby-throated hummingbird’s flight.

A few years ago there was great interest in a Japanese biology class project that grew a chicken without a shell. It turns out they were not the first to succeed at hatching a chick without a shell. This series of photographs shows the development of a baby chick.

The written instructions for hatching a shell-less chicken can be found here.

One of the easiest ways to learn to identify birds is to use coloring pages to recreate their color markings. Couple these pages with a full-color field guide to birds to learn to identify the male and female of these common birds.

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Virginia Homeschool Bird Studies

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