What can you learn about from studying birds? Quite a lot, actually! During their year-long exploration of birds, 3rd graders learn to identify the different birds that call Chicago home as well as those that call it their summer retreat.
During the first trimester, students define what makes a bird a bird, create their own classification system to help them identify Chicago area birds, connect the structure of beaks and feet to their function, explore the make-up of eggs, and engineer a simple model of a bird's nest. Students also explore bird adaptations, behavior, and how birds have changed and evolved over time.
For the winter trimester, students will study animal migration, seasons, weather, and climate. They will use what they have learned to engineer a bird feeder with upcycled found-materials that will withstand Chicago winter conditions.
In the spring, students will explore the physics of flight and aerodynamics. Applying the idea of biomimicry, students will engineer a kite that is shaped like a bird in flight!