Focus on Science

  • Picture of Bird on Tree Branch
    Participate in very simple (only takes 10 minutes) data collection. Send your data to the Lab of Ornithology. The Lab provides all materials needed for your classroom or youth group at no charge.
  • Have students write postcards and send them to us at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (postcards may be painted on one side and written on the other) describing their experiences with nature.
  • Spend 15 minutes outside with journals. Students should draw, write or record what they see and experience. Share observations with the world by sending them to the Lab.
  • Hold a big “sit”! Have students spend time in small groups just listening and recording what they see. Keep a running record of observations in a central location at the school.
  • Conduct a bio-blitz of the school. Try to name the species of all the plants and animals you can find in your school grounds.
  • Keep a running list of questions that students ask about birds and nature in a central location.
  • Have students design their own inquiry projects. These can be based on observational data or they can design an experiment. Make sure to present findings in a “peer reviewed” journal or at the “Celebrate Urban Birds!” event.
  • Have your students research and debate issues of bird conservation. One classroom read Jerry Spinelli’s ‘Wringer’ about Rock Pigeons and debated issues of humane wildlife control. They learned a lot about Rock Pigeons during the preparation and even had a teleconference with staff at the Lab of Ornithology!
  • Have kids learn more about the 15 focal species of the Celebrate Urban Birds project. Take the Cubs Quiz.

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