|Habitat elements cover, cover, water, space, |
and the bird in the pink dress.
I tried out BirdSleuth Lesson 4 Habitat in my Saturday morning UCI kids ecology program (2 hours, 15 kids, age 2 y.o. through 8th grade) and Lesson 5 Bird Survivor in the 7th grade UCC class (1/2 hr, 16 kids), and figured out what worked, and mostly what didn’t work. In general, the kids in 6th grade and up weren’t so into the games. And I realized that my translator and I really needed to demonstrate a round of both games with us as the birds. Both games worked better when kids stay in their seats and the birds are in front. Difficulties with habitat were that the kids wouldn’t continue to make the motion of their assigned habitat element (food, water, cover, space) throughout the game, and it didn’t work as a chase game as the birds and their habitat friends formed alliances, so there was not much chasing. At the end I gave them markers and index cards to write the 4 habitat elements and draw pictures. The older kids helped the younger ones, and they all seemed to enjoy that.
The Survivor game requires the kids to read cards describing the success of birds in 1. finding territory and 2. mates, 3. building nests and 4. sitting on them, 5. finding food, and 6. fledgings leaving the nest. The birds standing up front take steps either forward or backwards depending on their success with each step. First, a teacher wasn’t around and kids were trickling in from break, so they weren’t attentive. Then I discovered my translator can’t read French very well! So it was difficult directing the kids through the instructions. Finally I went up front as the bird and asked kids to read their cards to me. I understand French well enough to figure out whether to step forward or back. Then finally the session was over.
I revised both games for the Saturday program in the Bohoc village (2 hrs, 25 kids age 2 – 15). I wrote in Kreyol the 4 habitat elements and 6 survival components on laminated cards. And as we explained each, kids came up front to hold the cards. I assigned habitat elements to kids based on the color of their shirts so I could remember who was what (blue = water, etc.). And my translator and I demonstrated collecting the 4 elements, making a competition of it to see who could gather all 4 first. Then we had pairs of kids come up front as birds and race to see who could collect the elements. For the survivor game, I distributed all cards to the kids, and my translator and I stood up front and in turn asked for the cards for each step in order. Two older girls who could read French read the cards to us and we explained in Kreyol. Both games worked much better with this group. Afterwards the kids wrote the components on the index cards and drew pictures of birds.
|Bird survivor components|
|Writing the habitat elements|