SAVY 2019: Session 5, Day 3 – Wind and Wings (Rising 1st/2nd)
The week is flying by! To start our day, the students listed all the ways that they thought birds used their feathers. They came up with so many good ideas like flying, diving, keeping warm, swimming, camouflage, and getting water for their baby birds. We compared their ideas to a list from the Arizona State University Ask a Biologist website, https://askabiologist.asu.edu/content/23-functions-feathers. The Ask a Biologist section of the ASU website is a great resource for all sorts of interesting biology questions that students have.
We finished up our research about birds. The students focused their research on how flight helped each bird survive along with features of wings or feathers that helped each bird fly. For example, owls fly very quietly to help them catch prey and have small feathers on the tips of their wings to muffle sound. Woodpeckers do not need to fly as far or as much, and they have tail feathers designed to help them perch in trees. It was so interesting to listen to the students as they shared their research with one another and made connections to what each person shared. As we listened to one another, we talked about how scientists share information with each other and how we benefit from this collective understanding in our class and in the scientific community.
Students also had an opportunity to make a model of a bird wing using cardstock, straws, pipe cleaners, and feathers. The conversations that we had around how the students used materials to show their understanding were amazing! This is a great benefit of a small class size because I can talk with each student about his or her work and what they are trying to represent. For example, students used the straws to represent birds’ lightweight bones, and another student used the straws to represent the shafts of the feather. Other students used feathers lined up on the wing mimicking the arrangement of feathers on a bird wing. They are excited to show you their designs at open house on Friday!
Tomorrow, we will learn about insect flight and compare that to bird flight.