This simple backyard birdwatching unit study is easy to put together and fun for preschool through early elementary age children.
Backyard Birdwatching Unit Study
As a homeschooling family, we enjoy doing nature studies. Both my children, especially my 5-year-old son, love anything to do with the outdoors. As the weather turns warmer we have noticed a significant increase in birds in our yard, right outside our school room window, which is very distracting! In order to turn it to my advantage, I decided to make it our focus and turn it into a Backyard Birdwatching Unit Study. But you don't need to be homeschoolers to enjoy this study, it's a great way to extend your child's learning on the weekends or throughout the summer.
I found a great and inexpensive Frey Scientific Backyard Birds of North America Poster on Amazon that we use for a quick reference inside, and this Birds, Nests, and Eggs Take Along Guide that is easy to carry along into the yard or to our local parks. Both are beautifully and clearly illustrated so that my 3-year-old is even able to point out birds we see. The book is sufficient as a study guide and “living” textbook for this unit study, including information on common birds, nests, and eggs, it also includes craft ideas and blank scrapbook pages at the back. Finally, we added a pair of children's binoculars for a closer look at our feathered friends. Currently, all three of these items add up to $30.00, add $5.00 more to your cart and it ships for free. If you would like to add some printables to use in the schoolroom when you come back inside, check out this list of free Bird Unit Study Resources.
We bought a big bag of wild bird seed to refill the feeder right outside the window, which gives us a bird's eye view of… well birds. Watching various species come and go from the feeder is entertaining and educational. If you have a bird bath make sure to keep it filled, this will also attract and keep birds in your yard.
More Bird Watching Resources
It is really very easy and inexpensive to put together simple unit studies to either do on their own or to supplement boxed curriculum or school work. Choose a topic, get at least one great book on the subject, and a few fun learning tools or “prop” items. If your child is old enough have them a journal and sketch their findings or if they are younger you can have them dictate words and watch you write them down and draw pictures with crayons or colored pencils. Play I Spy with your child- “I spy a Cardinal” or “I spy a Blue Jay”. Collect feathers, empty eggshells, and abandoned nest for your nature shelf.