Horizon Community Learning Center’s kindergarten students built bird nests Tuesday morning, which gave them a more hands-on learning experience for their final unit this school year.

The hands-on activity worked in conjunction with the curriculum unit where students studied about different species of birds and their adaptations.

“This is the part where we are learning about nest building and how birds protect their eggs,” said Erin Reid, kindergarten-mentor teacher. “They have been studying different types of nests and the different materials used to make nests, so now they’re experimenting the different ways on building them.”

Before the kindergartners made their nests, each student conducted a strategy on how they would build the nests.

The kindergarten students worked together in pairs — two per group — and gathered different material that would make a sturdy bird nest.

“I think they can really get that understanding instead of reading it in a book or seeing pictures. They can actually try it out and see what a bird goes through,” said kindergarten teacher Sandra Boston.

Some of the material used during the hands-on activity consisted of leaves, twigs and dirt. The nests were made on small trees outside of the kindergarten classrooms.

Once the students made their nests, they placed eggs inside and tested their durability against the winds by lightly shaking the small trees.

The project came about by building an activity that worked well with the science standards of the learning unit, Reid said.

“Looking at our different standards, all the animals and their adaptations, and the different things we had to teach, we decided to focus on bird adaptations,” she said. “They’re taking what they’re learning here and applying it to other animals. They’re much more involved and excited about their learning because they’re coming to these ideas and conclusions with evidence.”

After the students completed their nest, they recorded information about the advantages and disadvantages of building the nests.

Reid said the experience was very hands-on for the students.

“They get to study about it, they get to research it, and then they actually get to come out and do it. They actually see how difficult it is… I think it gives them more of a perspective of what it is like to have to build this way, and see what birds have to do,” she said. “They get more excited about it because it’s more hands-on, and how they could actually do it instead of just researching, learning and hearing us talking about it.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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