Songbird Songs – Activities

FOCUS: The singing of birds tells us that springtime has arrived. Songbirds use song to defend a territory and to attract a mate. In addition, shorter calls communicate information about danger and food. With their voices, birds can converse with each other over large distances and in dense vegetation. As we learn to recognize different bird songs and calls, we can begin to understand what they are saying to each other.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about songbird songs.

Take children outside, and ask them to close their eyes to listen to songbird songs and calls. Ask children to silently keep count on their fingers each time they hear a new bird, and to gesture to the location where they heard it.

SOUNDING THE HOUR
Objective: To model how each songbird species has a particular song and preferred time to sing.

Give each pair of children a Sounding the Hour card showing a bird and the words to its song. As a group, practice all the different songs on the cards. Continue reading Songbird Songs – Activities

Songbird Songs – Puppet Show

Bird Talk

Characters: Bernie Beaver, Mr. Cardinal, Chickadee, Mr. Red-winged Blackbird, Mrs. Red-winged Blackbird. Blue Jay, Mrs. Cardinal appear but don’t speak.

Props: headphones.

Bernie Beaver  There! Been working all night and now the dam is fixed. It’s almost morning, so it’s time for me to go to bed. Sure is peaceful and quiet at this hour…

Mr. Cardinal  Wa-cheer, wa-cheer. (exits)

Chickadee  Fee-dee, fee–dee-dee. (exits)

Beaver  Well, it was quiet. I wonder why the birds are so noisy this morning. All Continue reading Songbird Songs – Puppet Show

Songbird Songs – Standards

SONGBIRD SONGS ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Songbird Songs – Standards

Dandelions – Background

Even the smallest child recognizes the common yellow dandelion. Their sunny flowers, bundled and offered as bouquets, announce that spring is here. Whether they bring a smile or a frown, you can’t help but admire a plant that seems to be able to grow anywhere – from lawn to roadside, from parking lot to playground. Dandelion flowers serve the same function as all other flowers: to produce seeds for the next generation. Though not native to North America, dandelions are here to stay, thanks to a whole host of strategies that ensure their fluffy seeds will float on breezes far and wide.

The dandelion, or Taraxacum officinale, gets its common name from the French dents de lion or teeth of the lion, thought to describe its jagged leaves. Continue reading Dandelions – Background

Dandelions – Activities

FOCUS: Dandelion flowers serve the same function as all other flowers: to produce seeds for the next generation. Whether you consider them wildflowers or weeds, these hardy plants are here to stay, and they provide an important food source for birds, bees, and other animals. We’ll dissect simple flowers to see how seeds develop and compare these to the complex structure of dandelions. Outside, it’s easy to find examples of dandelions in all stages of development and get a first-hand view of the progression from flower bud to fluffy white seed head. You and the wind can help spread their parachute seeds far and wide.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about dandelions.

Give each small group of children a variety of flowers, including a dandelion, and ask children to talk about what they notice about the different flowers.

Materials: an assortment of flowers, including dandelions; magnifying lenses.

FLOWERY PARTS
Objective: To investigate a flower’s structure, sorting the parts and looking for patterns of similarities and differences.

Give each pair of children a simple flower, such as a Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria), daffodil, or tulip, and a magnifying lens. It is helpful if everyone has the same kind of flower. Continue reading Dandelions – Activities

Dandelions – Puppet Show

Dandelion Defenders

 

Characters: Dandy Dandelion, Nellie, Willie Woodchuck, Harriet Honeybee.

Props: Trowel, lawn mower, dandelion seed head (or, if available, real dandelion seed head).

Dandy Dandelion I know I’m not wanted here in this garden, but it sure is nice. Rich soil, no shade. I’ve got it made, unless…uh oh, here comes trouble.

Nellie  Hello there, Dandy Dandelion. I love your cheerful flowers! Too bad I have to pull you up, but you don’t belong in the garden. Continue reading Dandelions – Puppet Show

Dandelions – Standards

DANDELION FLOWER TO SEED ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Dandelions – Standards

Flowers to Fruit – Background

From the time the pussy willows open in early spring until the last of the asters, spring, summer, and fall are the seasons of flowers. They are glorious – but why do they exist at all? Like the singing of birds and the taste of ripe strawberries, they give us great pleasure, and for some that’s enough – but flowers are essential to the lives of flowering plants. Blooming is the culmination of months or years of growth, and understanding their parts will illuminate what they do.

Flowers have four kinds of parts, and they are in predictable positions. Continue reading Flowers to Fruit – Background

Flowers to Fruit – Activities

FOCUS: Flowers come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same function: to produce seeds. We’ll look at the insides of flowers to see how seeds develop and compare different kinds of flowers and their structures. To make seeds, flowers need to be pollinated. Some do this with the help of the wind and others with the help of animals, like hummingbirds, moths, beetles, and especially bees.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about flowers and fruit.

Give each small group of children a variety of flowers, and ask children to talk about what they notice about the different flowers.

Materials: an assortment of flowers, magnifying lenses

FLOWERY PARTS
Objective: To investigate a flower’s structure, sorting the parts and looking for patterns of similarities and differences.

Give each pair of children a simple flower, such as a Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria), daffodil, or tulip, and a magnifying lens. It is helpful if everyone has the same kind of flower to begin with. Continue reading Flowers to Fruit – Activities

Flowers to Fruit – Puppet Show

All the Buzz about Flowers

Characters: Sadie Sunflower, Beulah Bumblebee, Charlie Chickadee, Gertie Grass.

Prop: two yellow pompoms for bumblebee’s legs; sign saying, “Bees Welcome, Pollen Here.”

(Sunflower and Bumblebee enter together.)

Beulah Bumblebee (buzzing around sunflower, singing) Oh pollen, so nutritious, oh nectar, so sweet!

Charlie Chickadee  Hi, Beulah Bumblebee, what’s that yellow stuff on your legs? Continue reading Flowers to Fruit – Puppet Show

Flowers to Fruit – Standards

FLOWERS TO FRUIT ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Flowers to Fruit – Standards