DW, AR, and BR’s Report on Native Bird Species

One of the beauties of Montessori is that when children swerve down a mental exit ramp that you didn’t have on your driving directions, you can swerve too.  (All be it unwillingly on my part.  It takes me a while to warm to the new village we are visiting.)  Last week tons of birds descended on the side yard.  Right outside the window pecked robins and woodpeckers and wrens and doves.  The kids went wild; faces glued first to the window and then to Peterson’s Guide which AR had received for Christmas.  They identified all the species they saw.  The swirl of energy continued unabated through lunch when they asked if they could take a bird walk. Mrs. ER assisted them in their walk.

No birds were seen, however bird nests were photographed.  (Daily now, as the dogs are walked morning and afternoon, bird and nest spotters accompany the romp.)  The children came back from the walk with a plan.  AR, BR, and DW wanted to put their various sedimentary rock projects aside to research birds which live in our area.  I agreed.  Long-time readers of the blog know how much I hate project weeks and here the kids were veering down an unplanned project week off-ramp into an unplanned topic town. AGGGGGGGGGG.  But following the child is what Montessorians do.

Skills worked on this week:

  1. Reading
  2. Learning how to research
  3. Note taking
  4. Turning notes into a cohesive paragraph.
  5. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of team members
  6. Division of labor
  7. Learning when to involve “management”/adults
  8. Making a plan (with a mock-up of the final)
  9. Narrowing the scope
  10. Sketching
  11. Conflict resolution
  12. Conflict resolution
  13. Conflict resolution

Their presentation lasted nearly 30 minutes.  It was thorough and covered 10 different species.  Each presentation included salient information, a drawing with coloration of the birds, and the bird’s call.  The Carolina Wren, being our state bird, was given its own poster and each child contributed to the poster.  They also included a bibliography.  All of this, except the poster, was bound into a notebook which is designed to be a resource for future bird watching.

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Filed under AR, Biology, BR, DW, Educational Philosophy, Montessori, Projects, Science

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