Spring just has a way of shouting, “It’s time for baby birds!” I’m delighted to announce that red-tailed hawks, “Big Red and Ezra’s first egg was laid today March 19, 2014 at around 1:11PM.” The Cornell Lab Bird Cams are up and running with a number of online cams. If you have not used these web cams in the past, you might be missing some of the most awe-inspiring and engaging moments in the classrooms. Pair life cycle studies with observational journal writing. The journal writing screams “gross, eeew, yuck” when students observe the adult birds as they return to the nest with a captured fish, mouse, or snake to feed their young. If technology allows, install your own web cam in a nearby tree to observe the robins, sparrows, cardinals as they begin building their own nests and families. This could prove to be an interesting compare/contrast writing activity as well.
Red-tailed Hawk Cam
Note: A few years ago, the teachers in my online class were reading Newbery Honor Winner, Runt by Marion Dane Bauer, and sharing the book simultaneously with their classroom students. Students were absorbed in the adventures of the yet-unnamed wolf pup, but didn’t understand the family (pack) nature of wolves. Helping the students understand the “pack” of wolves, one of the teachers discovered a wolf web cam site. What a difference it made! Students were arriving 15 minutes early to school so they could watch the wolf web cam, discuss what they had seen and ready to continue reading the novel! Ah…technology!