This spring, Johnson Creek Elementary first graders participated in a bird study that incorporated and developed multiple educational skills. Thanks to a grant awarded by the Johnson Creek Education Foundation, a Wisconsin Bird Field Guide was purchased for each first grade student. The study started with a bird presentation by Dr. Jeff Hamann. Then, using their field guides, students learned how to identify birds and gather information about specific birds. The Cornell University site “All About Birds” was another resource they used for research which allowed them to search for birds and hear their songs. Students created and presented a Google slide show on a bird they researched.
In addition, students took a field trip to Rose Lake to practice their bird identification skills with the assistance of Friends of Rose Lake members Tom Belzer, Jeff Hamann and Dick Wanie.
Ms. Sireno (first grade teacher) then approached Mr. Lauersdorf (high school technology teacher) about an idea for a collaborative project. The idea was to have the high school building and construction class assist the first graders in building their own birdhouse. The building and construction students were tasked with finding plans and coming up with a cost estimation for the project. Through a grant from the Johnson Creek Education Foundation, a plan to construct wren houses was put in place.
This past Thursday and Friday, first graders came over to the high school to work in small groups with the building and construction students to complete their houses. The students were then able to take home their completed projects.
We are so very thankful for the many people who made this bird study possible. It was very rewarding to see the level of student engagement and to watch the learning overflow into their personal lives.