A Cheer for Me!
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak to another kindergarten class about my hobby of birding. I pretty much kept with the same format that I used for the first class I spoke to. I explained to the students that I spend my summers volunteering for different organizations, like the Loon Protection Society, counting and observing birds to help save and protect them for our future. You could tell by the looks on their faces, they were listening, they were thinking, they were taking it all in.
I shared my scrapbook and talked about my birding adventures the year I took part in a Big Year competition. Told them about riding horseback in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to find birds, climbing the walls of a rock quarry in Vermont to observe a nesting pair of Peregrine Flacons and my adventure riding an airboat thru the Florida Everglades. They were paying attention and seemed excited to look at the pictures of all the different looking birds I saw. I asked them if they noticed how many of the birds in the Everglades had very long legs, did any one know why that might be. One young student raised his hand and says " to get away from the Alligators!" Well that just might be one reason. I explained how the tall birds are called wading birds, that they need to be tall to walk thru the swampy waters in search of food like small fish and frogs.
Then I played a little game with them, I played different bird songs and asked if any one knew which bird was singing. I kept it simple and showed them a page of my book with the birds on it and told them the song was one of the birds on the page. They enjoyed hearing the bird songs and really seemed awed by the different songs. They had some difficulty matching which bird was singing but heck it's not easy, many birders have trouble identifying bird songs.
Then I asked them if there were any birds they would like to hear the songs of. One student raised his hand and asked if he could hear the song of the Eagle. Umm I explained that the Bald Eagle doesn't really sing like other birds. That his call may not be what they would expect. When I played the call of the Bald Eagle and the students heard that loud screech they all looked wide eyed and shocked. I explained the Eagle is the king of the air, he doesn't sing a pretty song, his call is meant to let all the other birds know, I am king! Beware.
The class was well behaved and polite I enjoyed talking with them about birding. The best part was before I left their teacher says " Class do we have a Cheer for our guest to thank her" Then the class calls out what they called their " Looking Good" Cheer, it's hard to explain in writing but the Cheer involved hand motions and all. It made me smile for the rest of the day. Thank you Ms M's kindergarten class!
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