Bird watching has become one of the JPS children's favourite things to do in our preschool yard. A visiting family of magpies with their babies, sparked the children’s interest in April. The children’s excitement at seeing them each day has prompted the educators to extend this interest to other birds the children may see in our yard, the neighbouring oval and around the community.
The aim of this intentional teaching is to help the possum children learn how to differentiate between a cockatoo, a currawong, a magpie and a galah. The children already know what magpies look like and they always see galahs at our neighbouring oval in Macquarie.
So last Tuesday at group time, Lledo sat with the children and discussed the differences between each of the birds, by showing them a photo. This was followed by an in depth look at the different feathers that belong to each bird. The children were given the opportunity to have a close up look, and feel the texture of the feathers.
After group time, Lledo and the children went outside to see what birds they could identify. The possum children charted their successes by placing a sticker on a specially made bird-watching board on the yard fence. This activity really excited the children and encouraged them to look for more birds to record on the board.
During the magpie visits the children noticed how tame they are and how they are always looking for food, so sometimes they give them their leftover crusts to eat. Other times Lledo has given them some crackers to nibble. Lledo is now thinking of extending this intentional teaching to incorporate a feeding station for the native birds, using a plastic pot plant saucer.