To continue this week’s seabird theme, I facilitated two different activities with the youth program students focusing on migration and feathers.
The first activity, involving feathers and what happens to a bird’s feathers in an oil spill, can be found here.
Keys to this activity are to allow students time to observe their feather, think about the behavior of seabirds, and ponder how an oil spill might affect a seabird. Though this activity requires materials such as vegetable oil, dish soap, and feathers it clearly demonstrates how feathers function and are negatively affected by oil. Additionally, because the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred only three years ago, many students still remember and can relate to this tragedy.
The next activity that we explored this week is a game I created called “Migration Invitation.” After discussing the annual migration of the Arctic Tern, we talked about why birds migrate what might hinder a bird’s migration. Factors such as traveling for food, shelter, and breeding were the main reasons sited for why birds migrate. Students then listed factors that would positively and negative impact a bird’s ability to migrate. I wrote each of these factors down on its own index card. Many of the negative factors included:
The positive factors included:
The game continues as follows:
Some tips—students get very excited to “migrate.” Make sure they wait for the teacher to say “migrate” and encourage safety while migrating (no pushing!). Also, relate the game back to bird migration and the factors seabirds need to survive.
Seabird Specialists week was a success. Now on to Fish Fanatics!
Pier 4, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02129