Students decided to create a ‘takeaway table’ with food for the birds who visited their school. But before they could stock it with food, they had to gather trustworthy data about which birds were actually in the local environment.
This Connected article explains the steps the students took to accurately identify the birds. They created an observation form and a set of rules to ensure the data they collected would be reliable. After gathering data over a 10-day period, the students emailed local experts for advice. Armed with their new knowledge, they were ready to take action.
This project has a focus on the science capability ‘Gather and interpret data’. The students worked to ensure their observations were accurate so that their inferences (conclusions about food options for the takeaway table) were valid.
Integrating literacy and numeracy
Opportunities to strengthen literacy and numeracy skills underpinned the entire investigation. In addition to filling out the observation forms, the students kept a written log, sent email messages and wrote an article for the online newsletter. They used a graph to present their data.
Teacher support material
The reusable content icon links to Google Drive folders containing text and images from the article.
The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forest & Bird’s How to identify New Zealand birds webpage has suggestions for making careful observations, along with links to online resources that help with bird identification.
The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.