Spring STEM: Building a Bird’s Nest
Spring is in the air, and so is STEM!
Students are finally outside again observing their natural world! One of the things that students are most excited about is finding bird nests and looking at bird eggs! Each year students bring in nests that they’ve found on the ground. They also bring in broken eggs (mostly the beautiful little robin eggs). Students have even sent photos and videos of baby birds to the class! If your students are like mine, they will love these activities! Better yet, students will be learning, and you will all enjoy the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air!
Background Knowledge through Informational Reading Passages
The first two resources are informational reading passages about robins with a follow-up STEM activity. One passage is written for primary grades, and one is written for third and fourth grades. Students will eagerly read about what robins look like, how they build a nest, and about their life cycle. This is a great time for more in depth discussions about animals needs and life cycles.
After learning about robins, students will work in teams to create a robin’s nest given certain criteria and constraints. First, students become material engineers as they think about what materials they can collect that will work the best to build their nest. Next, they will gather their materials. Finally, they use their math skills as they measure the size of the nest. Here’s what one of the fourth graders said while working on the STEM Challenge:
Click on the robin to see to the resource.
Try a WebQuest
Another fun activity is a WebQuest. You may ask, “What is a WebQuest?” When doing a WebQuest students are given a specific website to go to. They are also asked to find certain information. In this case, they are given a link to a website about the American Robin. Using a tablet or a laptop students work with a partner to answer questions, listen to bird songs, and draw pictures! After they are finished with the WebQuest they will be asked to build a bird’s nest based on information they have gathered online.