Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bird Diagramming

Yesterday we switched back to our final three weeks on Attentiveness with our focus on birds and John James Audubon.

Choosing the Right Diagram
After finding a few different diagrams of birds on the internet I couldn't decide which I liked best.  I liked the color in this one from the The Robinson Library, and it was nice and simple.  But it looked maybe too simple. This one from the Birds of Yosemite National Park website seemed more detailed but I thought perhaps confusing for the kids.  Finally, this one from Mr. Joanides' Wiki Pages (scroll 2/3 of the way down) looked pretty good but well, you know how it is.  I just couldn't decide. The diagram with the wing spread out intrigued me and even the one at the top of Mr. Joanides' Wiki page showing the skeleton of the bird is pretty cool.  There are tons of bird diagrams on the internet, all fabulous but somehow you have to narrow it down to what your needs are or you your kids will be overwhelmed.  Right.

So I made the deciding process into an activity for my 9yo and 7yo.  I asked them to look and compare the three different diagrams and tell me what they liked or disliked about each one and also explain how they are different.  Finally I asked them to decide which they thought would be the best one to use for learning the parts of a bird and tell me why.  They were very observant. (Awesome!  Goal #1 met already and we haven't even learned anything about the birds yet!)  While the one with color added to it was more attractive to my daughter, my son pointed out that the others had more parts diagrammed.  The one with the parts labeled right on the bird they both thought was too confusing and "messy" but it labeled the coverts on the wings specifically whereas the colorful one did not and the third only pointed out the wing bars.  Final decision?  We're using all three.

Cut and Paste Diagramming

Today I took the diagramming one step further than my usual "label-the-parts" method.  I printed out a simple black and white outline drawing of a robin twice for each of my kids.  On the first one I made labeling lines pointing to the different parts of the bird so they could label the parts as usual.  The labeling didn't take very long and I let them use the diagrams they had chosen to find the right parts.  In advance I colored and cut out the second bird's parts following the bird puzzle idea I got from The Adventures of Bear.   When it came time to glue the puzzled out bird parts onto the black and white robin, I would call out a part and they would have to find it among their puzzle pieces and glue it onto the diagram they just finished labeling.  It went well and doubled the retention possibilities of simply labeling.

1 comment:

Phyllis said...

I love the whole exercise! I love it!