Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Simple Bird Feeder + a Freebie

My first graders had been talking about weather -- particularly winter, since we're in it. We'd also been talking about things that animals need and how we survive. One quick and easy thing we did was create a simple bird feeder for students to take home and put in their yard.

Since a lot of my students are allergic to peanuts, I teach in a peanut free room. Obviously, making peanut butter bird feeders was out of the question! I had to get a little more creative. 

I'd read online that you could dip pine cones in animal lard as an alternative to the traditional PB feeder, but I heard through the grapevine that not only is it kind-of expensive, but it's super-messy. So I settled on the following method, instead.

Each student needed:
  • 1 pipe cleaner {doesn't matter the color}
  • a handful or two of Cheerios
  • 1 baggie {the sandwich size worked great}
  • a copy of the explanation page
We read a precious little book called Stranger in the Woods. It's about this group of animals in the woods who things there's a "stranger" among them. Turns out, the stranger is a snowman! The kids who made him watch the snowman and wonder how else they can help feed the animals during winter.

This led into our discussion of how we might be able to help the animals in winter.

I passed out 1 pipe cleaner per student and a couple of handfuls of Cheerios {in bowls} to each table.  I found that, on average, a pipe cleaner can fit approximately 40 Cheerios. It took my firsties a while to string the Cheerios on the pipe cleaner, but I figured that was okay, since they were working on their fine motor skills. :) We just twisted the pipe cleaner on the ends to turn it into a ring.

I told the students they could hang the feeder on a branch of a tree or bush near their home. The animals shouldn't be able to eat the pipe cleaner -- just the Cheerios! If the students have extra dry cereal at their houses, they can refill this pipe cleaner for awhile.

At the end of class, we put each bird feeder a copy of the explanation page into the baggie. I wanted the students to have the explanation page so that their parents didn't look at this strange contraption in their backpacks and think "What in the world is this??" ;) You can download your own FREE copy of the explanation page below:

Teachers Pay Teachers | Teacher's Notebook

1 comment:

  1. This is too cute! Love it! :)



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