Today we took a field trip with our homeschool group to a local wildlife center where the good folks there presented a program about...you guessed it, birds! The timing of this outing perfectly coincided with our bird studies. Don't you just love it when things work out that way? ;)
The nature specialists were great with the children. They began the program with an experiment that demonstrated the different types of beaks birds have. The children were able to try out these "beaks" to retrieve food from logs, water, and even in mid-air.
Then we were able to see a wonderful collection of bird nests. We couldn't believe the size of the tiny hummingbird nest!
Next we went on a hike through the woods. The guide had the children to really use their eyes and ears to see what they could find. We saw and heard lots of birds along with a couple of nests and some woodpecker holes in trees. We also found some bird and deer tracks as well as a couple of snakes and a bunny. We rounded out our day with lunch back at the nature center and time to socialize with new friends! :)
When we got home I had the children each do a narration about the trip. They haven't narrated many stories yet, but they have gotten their feet wet with narration by telling Daddy about a couple of field trips (with me typing furiously in the background). You'll notice that the highlight of the bird walk for Giggly Girl was finding animals and their tracks - she only mentions this a few times! :)
"We saw some animal tracks and a brown bunny. We went in the woods to look for birds, and we saw a red cardinal. We looked for ducks in the pond, but we didn't see some duck. We looked for animal tracks and we saw some. We saw a deer track. We also looked for animals. We looked for every animal and the track they followed. I looked for animals in the woods, also like a jungle. We saw some dams. We found some bugs, and some big leaves and little leaves and spiders. And we walked to look for animals. And we saw some birds that were tweeting and all that stuff. And that's all."
"We went to Green Acres. We looked at bird nests - robin, swallow, oriole, and hummingbird nests. We went on a hike in the woods. I met a new friend named Abraham. We saw a brown rabbit. We saw two rabbits. We saw one in a cage and we saw one on our hike. We heard birds. We heard a cardinal. We saw some whitewash (bird droppings). We went down to a big field. Mr Jim lifted up these boards and snakes were under them. We saw three or four snakes. There were some other woods and we came near a creek. At first it sounded like a big waterfall, but it wasn't a waterfall. We were looking for ducks but no ducks came. We found poison ivy. Some had bird poo on it. The nice name for bird poo is whitewash. We saw a turkey vulture and a hawk. The hawk wings were straight out. The turkey vulture wings were slanted up. When an animal tries to eat the vulture, the vulture protects itself by throwing up on the animal that's trying to eat it. The hike was over after we saw the brown bunny in the woods."
One of my goals for next year is to have the children narrate our main story for each week. I think they're ready to give it a go on a more regular basis. If you have any ideas or tips for how you use narration, I'd enjoy hearing them!