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Birds of A Feather

Student Stories

Making Field Guides

A Birds Eye View

More About Birds



Student Stories

Making Field Guides


Students are working in their field guides, filling in their data on birds. Questions include: Bird Habitat, Size, color and their food.Making our own field guide is a good way to learn how to identify some of the more common birds we might see in our study.

Prior to returning to the classroom, students were outside walking their bird path and collecting data. Students were given blank paper, pencils and a clipboard to sketch the path and the physical features that surround it.Students were asked to note the ways land surrounding the path is used. Is the area built-up, natural, or somewhere in between?



Students are separated into preestablished cooperative groups. Field guides are given to each cooperative group. Students have just returned to the classroom from walking their bird path. Each group is using their field guide to identify and list the major plant and bird species found in their sampling site.

In addition to working in their field guides students are asked to find their path on the topographic map. Questions asked are: Where is it situated in relation to your school? Your home? What types of land use/land cover are near your path? Houses? A Forest? or a river?

A teacher aide, Mrs. Green is helping students with their field guide.

A Birds Eye View


Students determine their path outside. Students from Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Miller's class are using their binoculars to view birds. In order to best examine our corner of the world, both classes will establish their path in an area near our school that best represents our local environment.

In order to enable different schools across the state to use our data and compare it to theirs, our path in this experiment will be 200 meters long. Questions for students: Why everyone must have the same length for their path for their data to be comparable.What would happen if one school used a 100 meter path and another a 50 meter path? How might this affect the data each school collects?

In order to set an accurate description of habitat, roles were assigned to each group member during this initial survey.For example, one student to serve as official recorder, two students to serve as botanists (responsible for collecting plant data), and two students to serve as biologist (responsible for collecting animal data). These roles will change for the actual data collection periods, where each student will be counting a specific type of bird.

Students from Mrs. Miller's class is standing by their bird project, displayed as a hall way exhibit.


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Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Author(s): Olivia Miller & Marva Simmons (omiller@ameritech.net)
School: Hatch Elementary School Oak Park Illinois
Created: October 18, 1997 - Updated: October 18, 1997
URL: /lincon/f97projects/your folder/student.html