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SONGS, POEMS AND FINGERPLAYS
If I Were a Bird
If I were a bird, I'd sing a song
And fly about the whole day long
(twine thumbs together and move hands like wings)
And when the night comes, go to rest,
(tilt head and close eyes)
Up in my cozy little nest.
(cup hands together to form nest)
- Stretch, Stretch
Stretch, stretch away up high:
On your tiptoes, reach the sky.
See the bluebirds flying high.
Now bend down and touch your toes.
Now sway as the North Wind blows.
Waddle as the gander goes!
- Bird Feeder
Here is the bird feeder. Here, seeds and crumbs.
(left hand out flat, right hand cupped)
Sprinkle them on and see what comes.
(sprinkling motion with right hand over left hand)
One cardinal, one chickadee, one junco, one jay,
(join fingers of right hand and peck
at the bird feeder once for each bird)
Four of my bird friends are eating today.
(hold up four fingers of left hand)
- Two Little Blackbirds
Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill,
(close fists, extend index fingers)
One named Jack, one named Jill
(talk to one finger; talk to other finger)
Fly away Jack. Fly away Jill.
(toss index fingers over shoulder separately)
Come back, Jack. Come back, Jill.
(bring back hands separately with index fingers extended)
Tap Tap Tap
Tap, tap, tap goes the woodpecker
(tap with right pointer finger on inside of left wrist)
As he pecks a hole in a tree.
(make hole with pointer finger and thumb)
He is making a house with a window
To peep at you and me.
(hold circle make with finger and thumb in front of eye)
Here is a nest for a robin.
(cup both hands)
Here is a hive for a bee.
Here is a hole for a bunny;
(finger and thumb make circle)
And here is a house for me!
(fingertips together to make roof)
(Sung to tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush")
The first verse remains the same, with the
children walking around in a circle holding hands.
This is the way we scratch for worms.
(children move foot in a scratching motion like a chicken)
This is the way we peck our food.
This is the way we sit on our eggs.
(children squat down)
This is the way we flap our wings.
(bend arms at elbows, and put thumbs under armpits, flap)
This is the way we fly away.
(children can "fly" anywhere they want, but return to circle at end of verse)
- The Duck
I waddle when I walk.
(hold arms and elbows high and twist trunk side to side or squat down)
I quack when I walk.
(place palm together and open and close)
And I have webbed toes on my feet.
(spread fingers wide)
Rain coming down, makes my smile, not frown
And I dive for something to eat.
(put hands together and make a diving motion)
ARTS AND CRAFTS
- Birdseed Collages
Children will need birdseed, paper and white glue. Apply glue to paper and sprinkle birdseed over the glue. A picture can be drawn ahead of time to fill in or this may just be a piece of modern art! For a variation, use additional types of seed such as corn or sunflower seeds.
- Eggshell Collages
Save clean eggshells and dye them. Crush the dyed eggshells into small pieces. Let the children use glue to apply the eggshells to pastel colored construction paper in various patterns.
- Bird in a Nest
Cut a section from a cardboard egg carton. Spread glue around the outside of the cup. Press the end of a piece of yarn into the glue, and wind the yarn around the cup.
Wash and dry an uncooked egg. Gently poke a small hole at one end of the egg and a slightly larger hole at the other end. Insert a toothpick into the larger hole to break the yolk. Hold the egg over a bowl, and blow into the smaller hole to force the egg white and yolk out the other end. Rinse the eggshell with water.
Glue pieces of yellow yarn for straw inside the nest. Paint the eggshell. When it dries, break off pieces of the shell to make it half the size. Add features cut from paper, and glue the bird inside the nest.
- Feather Painting
On the art table, place feathers, thin paper and paint. Let the children experiment with different
paint consistencies and types of feathers.
- Robin's Eggs
Cut easel paper into the shape of an egg. Provide light blue paint with sand for speckles.
- Dying Eggs
Boil an egg for each child. Then let them paint eggs with easel brushes. The eggs can be eaten at
snack time or taken home.
- More egg crafts here.
- Bird's Nest
- Bird Nest Cupcakes
Make cupcakes, then frost with vanilla frosting. Tint coconut with green food coloring.
Place on top of cupcakes and add jelly beans in "nest" for eggs.
- Bird's Nest II
Crush up shredded wheat, graham crackers and Cheerios. Mix with marshmallow cream and melted butter.
Press into bottom of cupcake liners in muffin tins. Set, then put malted eggs in center.
- Egg Salad Sandwiches
Boil, shell, and mash eggs, adding enough mayonaise to provide a consistent texture. Add salt and
pepper to flavor. Spread on fresh or toasted bread.
- Bird's Nest Salad
1 grated carrot
1/2 cup canned Chinese noodles
mayonaise to moisten
Have children grate a carrot. Mix the carrot with Chinese noodles and mayonaise to moisten. Put a
mound of this salad on a plate and push in the middle with a spoon to form a nest. Grapes can be
added to the nest to represent bird's eggs. This recipe makes 2 salads.
- Have the children inspect an abandoned bird's nest to see how it is made. Discuss how bird's
nests are destroyed and how animals and people can help or harm birds. Place brightly colored yarn,
straw and bits of cotton near low shrubs for the birds to use in making nests. Check daily to
see what happens!
- Get students to cut pictures of birds from magazines and paste them on sheets of paper to
make pages for a booklet. Help the students learn about the birds. Label each bird, make a cover
for the booklet and tie together with yarn. Let each child carry the booklet home for the day.
- Make a Bird Feeder I
Ask each student to bring an empty milk carton from home, washed out with soap and water. Cut a
"window" in one side of each carton. Glue or tape the top of the carton shut. Use a nail to
make a hole in top of each carton. Thread a piece of cord through the hole to make a loop for
hanging. Put birdseed in the cartons and hang.
Make a Bird Feeder II
Spread peanut butter on pinecones and sprinkle on birdseed. Tie a piece of yarn at top of pinecone and
hang on shrubs or trees.
Make a Bird Feeder III
Fill small paper cups with birdseed and attach a small string to the cup for use as a handle.
Hang on bushes outside the classroom window and watch for the birds!
- Little Birds Movement Exercise
One child can be the mother bird and the remainder of the children can act out the story.
All the little birds are asleep in their nest.
All the little birds are taking a rest.
They do not even twitter, they do not even tweet.
Everything is quiet up and down the street.
Then comes the mother bird and tapped them on the head.
They opened up one little eye and this is what was said,
"Come little birdies, fly way up in the sky."
Fly, fly, oh fly away, fly, fly, fly
Fly, fly, oh fly away, fly away so high.
Fly, fly, oh fly away, birds, can fly the best.
Fly, fly, oh fly away, now fly back to your nest.
Here is a general idea of what you can say to create the hatching experience with young children.
Say, "Close your eyes. Curl up very small; as small as you can. Lie on your side. Think how dark
it is inside your egg. Yes, you're in an egg! You're tiny and curled up and quiet. It's very dark.
Very warm. But now, try to wiggle a little--just a little! Remember, your eggshell is all around you.
You can wiggle your wingtips a bit, and maybe your toes. You can shake your head just a little. Hey!
Your beak is touching the eggshell. Tap the shell gently with your beak. Hear that? Yes, that's
you making that noise. Keep tapping. A little harder. Something is happening. The shell has
cracked--oh, close your eyes. It's bright out there. Now you can wiggle a little more. The shell is
falling away. You can stretch out, stretch to be as long as you can make yourself. Stretch your
feet. Stretch your wings. Doesn't it feel good, after being in that little egg? Stretch!!
You're brand new--can your stand up, slowly? Can you see the other new baby birds?"
- Pet Birds
Liz submitted this great activity--Thanks!
Talk to the children about different parrots, like macaws, amazons, cockateils, lovebirds etc.
Show them pictures, let them draw a favorite . See if any child in the class has a parrot.
If so, can the child or parent bring it to class for show and tell. Talk about the diffence in
birds in your area and parrots. The colors, their diet, where they are from.
- Birding activity for Pre-K and older
Jamie P submitted this great activity--Thanks!
Teach your students to identify the most common birds in your area, such as the Northern cardinal, using pictures which are mounted on the wall for easy review. On a nice spring morning, take your student(s) outside to look for the birds that they have learned. Students who read can be given a checklist of common birds and work in groups to identify as many birds as possible. Take this activity to the next level by teaching the students to listen for the songs of the birds, first using Lang Elliot's beautiful website, Learnbirdsongs.com that contains both photography and sound. Then go outside again and listen for the songs you have learned.
- Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller
- Egg: A Photographic Story of Hatching by Robert Burton
- A Nest Full of Eggs by Pricilla Jenkins
- Nessa's Story by Nancy Luenn
- An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
- Eggbert: The Slightly Cracked Egg by Tom Ross
- Bently and Egg by William Joyce
- A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
- Max's Wild Goose Chase by Sandra J. Philipson
- Roger Tory Peterson's Colors: A Book for Beginner Bird Watchers and Crayon Users by Rudy Hoglund (Editor)
- Roger Tory Peterson's Numbers: A Book for Beginner Bird Watchers and Counters by Rudy Hoglund (Editor)
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