Science at Home: For the Birds!

To help students learn to read, teachers design their classrooms as literacy-rich environments. You know how to support this at home, by having books available and reading with your child.

But did you know that supporting science at home is just as easy?

IMG_4514

Chickadees scold in the background as a house sparrow fills up on mixed seed.

The key is to make the science accessible and a natural part of your home environment. A lot of science is about inquiry, wondering, and observation, which works beautifully if you have a bird feeder around.

My friend, Anne, was famous for her bird feeder outside the classroom window. Anne’s purpose was simply to share her love of birdwatching with children. Before she knew it, the students had made the feeder into a science center. They observed, developed hypotheses, researched, and persisted at finding their answers.

The results amazed everyone. Some students created complex spread sheets on bird behavior. Others drew birds and researched the different kinds of sparrows they saw. A few wrote stories and poems inspired by the bird’s lives. The important thing to Anne was that she’d introduced birds in a no-pressure way and let her students do the rest, even while their “regular” science lesson from a kit was underway.

Borrow Anne’s idea and see what evolves at home. Remember to just let it happen. It’s no secret that when children are given the opportunity to construct their own learning, it becomes memorable and lasting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s