Applied Science - Science and Math (KA) Pre Lab
 OBJECTIVES: Observing nature. Describing and comparing nests, birds, and eggs. VOCABULARY: nest observation MATERIALS: crayons worksheet  collection of bird's nests different size eggs  different oval shapes (optional) Students look at different eggs.
 BACKGROUND: Science in kindergarten is all about observing the world by using a child’s senses.  In later grades children will use some of the experiences they experienced in the lower grades.  A child’s experience is not only talking and observing different objects, but also touching and playing with equipment.  Play is an integral part in a child’s discovery of science and math.   Observation is a very important concept in science and is usually overlooked when teaching basic skills.  Observing your surroundings and mentally recording this information is very important because it is from observation that many decisions are made.  The better the observational skills of a child, the more they can learn on their own.  Children, however, must have a baseline to start developing their skills.  Observation is not an inborn skill, it is a learned behavior.  This exercise helps teach students to think critically while they are observing objects in nature. PROCEDURE: Prior to this activity, ask your students if they have old nests they have found.  Remember, make sure they do not take nests that are occupied.    You can make a display that will become a colorful addition to your classroom and a future home for all the nests you find throughout the year.  It just takes a large branch (about 2 meter tall) with smaller branches able to support nests.  Ask a neighbor or parent to save a large branch when they trim a tree.    Make sure you "cure" the branch first, leaving it outside so the sap and "bugs" leave the branch before you bring it into the classroom.  Get a base (redwood tub is ideal) and wedge the branch into the base of the tub.  Put large rocks in the tub to make sure the branch will not move.     We suggest that you put the "tree" together in the classroom because the rocks will make it too heavy to easily move.  Use artificial grass or turf at the base of the "tree" and artificial leaves and flowers on the branch to make your "tree" look realistic.      Introduce information on birds and how they build nests.  Try to use information provided by children to gain information for the rest of the class.  Ask questions like, “Where do you find nests?”  “Who has found nests before and where were they found?”  “Do most birds build nests?”  “What do birds use to make their home?”    Show any real or models of  nests you might have to students.  Discuss what type of egg might fit into the nest.  Small nests can only hold small eggs and large nests can only hold large eggs. Small eggs come from small birds, and large eggs come from large birds.  Just by looking at the nest, you can tell how large the bird is!    The worksheet focuses on a child discovering a nest.  Have the students become the child in the picture and is describing their discovery to someone else.  How large is the egg, how large would the mother bird be, and what is the nest made of?  Make sure the children color each egg the same color.  Although there are many different colors of eggs, the eggs from one bird are the same color. This is an excellent time to warn students not to disturb the birds.  Birds are organisms like us and deserve respect.