Spring is in the air. The trees are starting to leaf out and nests are being built. It’s time to have a little tree observation learning fun. Grab a copy of Bird Watch and let’s read and learn together with this fun spring book activity.
Bird Watch Book and Literacy Activity
The skills covered in this activity include:
- listening responsively to a book
- identifying details in a story
- building fine motor strength
- developing visual discrimination skills
- using positional words (in, on, under, between)
- Bird Watch by Christie Matheson
- 9×12 white construction paper (one per student)
- green (light and dark), brown, blue, red, and white paper scraps
- scissors (one per student)
- glue or glue sticks (1 per two students)
Read a Spring Book: Bird Watch
Enjoy reading the book several times throughout the week with the children.
Gather the students together and show them the front of the book. Read the title and ask the students if they have ever observed birds in the trees.
Ask the students to listen and watch for different birds as they come and go from the trees while you read the book aloud for the first time.
On one repeated reading, you can emphasize counting by asking the students to count with you as you point to the birds on each page spread. You can also discuss the colors of the birds.
During another reading of the book, draw attention to the illustrations again. Ask the students what else they notice about the environment.
Finally, on another reading name the birds and have the students identify the beginning sound of each type of bird name. You can also share the backmatter descriptions of each bird.
Spring Book Fine Motor and Counting Activity
This activity will allow students to build a tree full of birds while working on fine motor and counting skills. This activity can be done as a whole class or small group activity.
Setting Up the Activity
Gather the supplies at the workspace for students. Create a master poster to show the students the number of pieces that they will need for their tree creations. Label your demonstration poster with the following items. Add an illustration with each step.
- 1 tree trunk
- 2 nests
- 3 birds
- 4 bird eggs
- 5 branches
- 6 flower blossoms
- 7 light green leaves
- 8 dark green leaves
Starting the Activity
Give each student a piece of blank paper and direct attention to the poster. Tell students they may cut or tear the colored paper to create a tree filled with birds. Instruct students to use the glue or glue sticks to adhere their pieces to the white paper.
Extensions, Variations, and Modifications
1. Talk about where items are placed–the bird beside the leaf, above the branch, in the tree.
2. Students may also draw items, especially the birds, if cutting pieces becomes too cumbersome.
3. Let students look out the window for design inspiration.
4. Students could also work in small groups on a collaborative tree.
5. Christie Matheson also wrote the interactive book, Tap the Magic Tree, which pairs beautifully with this project.
Contributed by Jodie Rodriguez, creator of Growing Book by Book.