We had so much fun with ducks this week! We've been working with birds a lot and LOVING it. I do love my birds, and now the kids do, too. Isn't that sweet how you can pass on an excitement or love of something to children? I hope some of them keep that love forever.
This duck activity is simple and really shows the kids why ducks stay dry in the water.
I traced the ducks on brown grocery bags and the kids cut them out. I also traced some feet that they attached with a brad so the feet can go around. Once they cut the duck out, they dabbed some vegetable oil on the duck. Then, each child got to spray their duck and see the water bead up on the duck, and not soak in.
Our lesson explained that ducks and waterbirds have a special oil gland by their tail. When they "preen" (or clean themselves), they spread this oil over their outer feathers. This oil helps to waterproof those feathers.
Underneath those waterproof feathers are soft, down feathers that keep the duck warm. I explained that the waterproof feathers are like a raincoat, and the down feathers are like our warm, dry clothes underneath the raincoat that stay dry and keep us warm because the raincoat keeps us dry.
This lesson is just one of MANY of our bird lessons in the new Birds and Bird Nests Packet that Dr. Jean and I made. It's 60 pages of Birds and Birds Nests. The are so many great hands-on, STREAM ideas, my Bird Nest Prezi, writing prompts to go along with books, 10 QR Codes for a center or Read the Room Activity, fingerplays, pictures for a bird journal, and Dr. Jean's song download, "Birdies." That song is one of the kids' FAVORITES. They think it's hysterical!
If you would like a copy of this Duck Activity, just click HERE. I included a simple duck pattern if you'd like to use it- or feel FREE to make your own! I added a yellow craft feather to each duck, just for fun.
We read some great duck books to go along with this activity! I LOVE Just Ducks by Nicola Davies. Her books are so much fun because they are excellent non-fiction books with a story that the children love to listen to. We read the story the first time through, and then go back for the facts she scatters all throughout the book.
Here are some sample pages:
Perfect for this activity!
Always great for the "uck" word family and rhyming
We did some writing after we learned lots about birds and nests from our Prezi...
made our nest packets
and bird feeders, and read and listened to lots of bird stories.
If the story has a QR Code, I added that to the prompt so the children can have the story to listen to when they go home. The prompts are simple and quick enough to be independent, but to really let the children be creative and answer questions. Here are some samples of writing prompts we did about birds, that are also in the packet.
Have you watched the DC Eagle Cam in your classroom? My class LOVED watching the eagles and their babies! I had it on during free choice time. It's quiet and so peaceful. OK- I say that... and then a duck ended up in the nest- which made us all stop and watch! I saw a kitten was in one nest- but we didn't see it (thank goodness...). So, it is LIVE and it is NATURE. But the thrill of watching the eagles is just amazing. Some of the kids are just mesmerized!
There are lots of online live camera feeds that are fun to watch. Africam is another one we love. Sometimes you can see some really neat animals at the waterhole- some days it's pretty quiet.
Writing this time of year is very creative for me...because I feel like the kids are excited for some different ways to write. When you think about it, it's the first time in their LIVES they can really get down on paper what they want to say. That's huge!
Sticker writing is always fun. We read lots of animal books to get some ideas about illustrations and facts. Then, everyone got a paper with two stickers on it. Nobody knew which ones they'd get. I put them face down on the table, and they turned the paper over and had to draw a detailed background and write something about their animals. They loved it. Nobody even complained! Maybe because as I was handing them out, some of the kids started with, "You get what you get, and you're thankful for it!" I love that little saying. I love it so much better than "You don't throw a fit." It makes it so much more positive.
These are my sweet girls. I took the fairy wings outside to play- well, just because I can... and they had a ball! Oh I love these sweet fairies!
This saying made me think about not worrying about falling, but instead trying to fly. Apparently, I must like that reminder, because this is my phone case!
I'm just sharing this video because I thought it was sweet of Nicole and Keith. (I say that like they're my friends...) I know it's not a Christian song, but the chorus makes me think of God telling me that He won't let me fall. He won't ever make me cry. And when everything seems to go wrong, He will fight for me. <3 Another great reminder.