Last Friday, two of our team members, Alan Booker and Josh Freeman, taught an introduction to bird language to a group of K-7th graders. The kids got a break from their normal classroom activities to learn a little bit about the strategies birds use for getting along in a world that sometimes has hidden dangers.
Through bird language, we began to show the kids how to engage all of their senses, taking them outdoors into a natural environment and making it fun for them in the process. Even in the couple of hours we got to spend with them, the kids were already able to interpret little bits of what the birds are saying to each other. Song and alarm are just two of the five major vocalization types that birds use to communicate. We talked about each of the five voices and how to distinguish between them. We have found that the more students learn what birds are communicating, the more they become aware of their surroundings in general.
For the younger kids, we let them listen to recordings of various birds using the different voices to help them develop an ear for the sounds.
With the older kids, we took them outside to listen to the birds living in their neighborhood. We showed them how to sit and listen quietly so they wouldn’t startle the birds. After listening for a period of time, we took them back inside and had them map out the behaviors of the birds on paper so they could start to see and understand bird patterns.
We really enjoy getting to share some of our nature connection classes with children. They really engage with the learning and develop an excitement for nature that opens up the pathway to deeper adventures.