In the early winter we talked a lot with our students about how animals survive the Canadian winter. We read many fiction and non-fiction texts on the topics of migration and hibernation, created charts of who does what, had a classroom visitor from the Ministry of Natural Resources who shared migration route maps with us (and even had a taxidermied Gray Owl to show us!), and explored hibernation through writing and art.
At this late moment of winter, however, it is time to consider the scarcity of food many animals face as the season continues.
Today we created birdseed ornaments to support our feathered friends through the remainder of the winter! I started with a modelled writing session, showing the children how to write, read, and follow a procedure.
Then we broke up into smaller groups and got to work (or play, depending on how you see it) to create our ornaments.
You will need:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 envelope gelatin
4 cups birdseed
To create the ornaments:
1. Mix the flour, water, corn syrup, and gelatin in a medium bowl.
2. Add the birdseed and mix well till all the seed is coated in the mixture.
3. Firmly press the mixture either into an oiled muffin tin, or into cookie cutter shapes set on an oiled pan.
4. Insert a piece of straw into the ornament to create a hole (for inserting a string for hanging).
5.Allow to dry for 2-3 hours, then carefully remove from tins or cutters and turn over. Allow the other side to dry for 2-3 hours.
6. Insert a string, and hang for the birds to enjoy!
We will hang our ornaments on the big pine tree outside our classroom window. We will leave a clipboard by the window with some binoculars and a bird identification guide so we can keep track of the kinds of birds that visit.