Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Hi! It's Carolyn from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together.  April is such a wonderful time of year to teach children about birds.  I wanted to share some ideas I love to use in my classroom.

Before I start, I wanted to share this "sign" of spring with you.   Two years ago yesterday, my sweet friend, who also teaches across the hall from me, lost her fiancé in a tragic accident.  I feel so blessed that we have such a strong support of friends here in our hallway (and together outside of school!).  Well, now we even have some support outside the window.  Just a couple weeks ago, a bird house was set up right outside her window.  (My friend does NOT like birds, by the way- usually.) However, since the beginning of this week, two bluebirds have been at the birdhouse each day.  They sit right outside of her window and look in or sit on top  of the bird house.  Bluebirds are not common here- and are a thrill to see.  

I told her they were bluebirds of happiness sent right for her, and she loved it. She hadn't heard of that, so I tried to find a picture to show her that they really are called "bluebirds of happiness."As I was looking, I found this first (by Presley Love) on a page that came up:

The timing could not have been better.

Now- onto my post!

My favorite introduction to my bird unit is reading Birds written by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by his wife, Laura Dronzek.
It is such a special book to read and share with children. Look at these pages!

If there are lots of birds in a tree, and they all fly away at the same time, it looks like the tree yelled,

This page was maybe my favorite to share with the children. We talked about all different types of birds and the colors they may leave in the sky, if their feathers left marks. I had seen an idea from Ready, Set, Read with feather painting and feather patterning to go along with this story. I just loved the idea of feather painting!

I made this paper so that we could make our own feather paintings. I printed it on light blue for the sky color.  If you would like a copy, just click on the picture.

We studied lots of the feathers, and then chose some to use for our paintings. I let the kids  different feathers for the yellow, blue, and red paint. 

These paint bricks worked really well. I just had to remind the kids to be a little careful "flying" over the words- so we could still read them.  

I  also made a bulletin board in the hall with some of our artwork. I had the children only paint the feather marks on the paper for the bulletin board, and then tell me which birds they chose to make the marks. 

As I called a couple children at a time up to paint , the other children worked on this Types of Birds Easy Reader from Debi Forsyth.  It is free at her TPT store.  

I made this little paper to go along with her book, to show the children what each bird really looked like, so they could use it as a guide as they colored their books.  If you would like a copy of my bird pictures, just click on the picture below.  
I actually saved the page as a picture, and printed it out as a 5x7 picture, just to save some ink.  Then, I cut each one in half (since there are two strips on each page) and stapled a strip right onto the cover of each child's book.

The books came out so sweet!

My post about Birds and Bird Nests has LOTS of other bird ideas you might like to use.

This is my  Bird and Bird Nest Prezi at my TPT store.  I used it to show the pictures of the birds we talked about before we made our books. The children loved choosing which birds they would pretend left marks in the sky. 

Birds is one of the books featured in my Kevin Henkes' Author Study Packet.

AND Kevin Henkes is one of eight authors featured in my Writing Prompts Author Packet.  I put all of my author studies together in one packet.  I use these all the time. I love doing simple author studies with my kids. 

Here are the different books and authors in the packet.

I also just updated my Author's Prezi at my TPT store.  I included Kevin Henkes because I LOVE him and his books.  I use so many of his books throughout the year. The children loved learning more about him- and seeing some of his work.  The other authors I have included in my Prezi are  Eric Carle, Theodor Geisel, David Shannon, Jan Brett, Laura Numeroff, Donald Crews, Shel Silverstein, Norman Bridwell, Robert Munsch, and  Mo Willems.

Thank you for stopping by. Have fun reading and watching the birds!


  1. I like your friend have not been fond of birds. However, I have also found a new interest in these furry friends. My daughter recently moved into a new house. A cardinal announced himself by pecking at the bedroom window so furiously that it woke up my daughter, son in law and their newborn. When I relayed this to a friend, my friend told me that a cardinal spotting is a visitor from heaven. Someone that has since passed, saying, "Hello". What a cheerful thought.

    1. I have heard that, too, Mary! Don't you love those things- they are just really happy thoughts. :) Thank you for writing!

  2. I will have to check to see if we have Birds in our school library. I feel like I have read it, but am not sure. We have a birds theme coming up later this month and that book looks like a keeper.

  3. Thank you for writing, Laura! I was so happy when I found that book. I think your kids would love it, too. :) I hope it's in your library!

  4. I love birds and all your activities. So glad you shared!

  5. Thank you for writing, Barbara. I love birds, too- and wanted to share that love with the kids. I hope you found some fun things to use!


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