Bird Lessons Take Flight for Vernon 4th Graders
Field marks, migration, beak shapes and behavior are just some of the interesting facts fourth graders at Vernon Elementary School learned about birds when educators from the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center came to speak in their classrooms.
The lesson was the first in five that will be presented to the fourth graders throughout the month of November, according to Ms. Jill Vomacka, who helped conduct the lesson with her colleague, Ms. Kate Kohurt.
“These valuable lessons are designed to align with the vocabulary and curriculum that is taught in the fourth grade,” Ms. Vomacka said. “Over the next few weeks, they will learn about migration, bird identification, what they eat, their habitats, their feathers, and the end result is a bird walk at Sagamore Hill at which time the students use binoculars and site birds.”
“They get first-hand experience and get to apply what they learned in the classroom,” Ms. Kohurt said. “We’ve had some great sitings in the past,” Ms. Vomacka added. “The children get excited when they see the birds getting worms or putting seeds in pine trees, for example.”
Ms. Kohurt began the lesson by talking about the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, who was a naturalist and conservationist who created the natural parks system; and John James Audubon, who was an ornithologist, which students learned, is one who studies birds. With a Power Point presentation, Ms. Kohurt taught students the different parts of a bird, bird vocabulary, coloration and gender, diet, beak shapes and migration, and played some games with them to reinforce the lesson. Ms. Vomacka played recordings of different bird songs and the students tried guessing what bird was making each sound. Student were given a workbook to enrich their lessons and a pamphlet with a glossary of various birds, which the students eagerly looked over.
“This program is a valuable enhancement to our fourth grade science program,” said Principal Dr. Valerie Vacchio, “and we feel fortunate to have this wonderful resource just minutes away from our school.”
Ms. Kate Kohurt, left and Ms. Ms. Jill Vomacka of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, teach Vernon School fourth graders about birds.
Students learn how to identify the gender of birds.
Students try to match various bird songs to the species.