The Audubon Society of Kalamazoo offers high quality bird education and appreciation programs for elementary and middle school classrooms. These presentations serve to bring some nature into classrooms. All presentations are given by Education Co-chair Russ Schipper, a very knowledgeable birder.
The mounted birds capture the attention of the students and provide examples of several aspects of the MI Science Standards, such as: life cycles, life requirements, environmental adaptation, structures and functions, camouflage, survival and the food web.
I also use: recorded bird songs, feathers, nests, pellets, and pictures to illustrate different facts and concepts about birds, their lives and their environment.
In the Variety Bird Program I have Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Mallard, American Woodcock, Baltimore Oriole, Dark-eyed Junco, Sora, Black-throated Blue Warbler.
In the Owl Program I have: Snowy, Great-horned, Barred, Eastern Screech (2) and Northern Saw-Whet Owls. The format is similar to the variety birds program.
During the past seventeen years I have visited well over 700 classrooms, from pre- school to 7th grade. Many of those classrooms I visit year after year.
While I can (and will) present to larger groups, I prefer to present to individual classrooms. To me that makes the programs more personal for the students and gives me time to show the birds to each student and answer more of the their questions. I encourage questions.
Generally for grades 2 or 3 and up I find that 45 minutes is about the minimum amount of time needed, though an hour is better. For the younger students 20 minutes to 45 minutes is more usual. But, I am very adaptable and will do what the teacher wants.
Also, I offer to lead field trips to natural areas, schoolyards or any area of your choice; these can be bird watching or general nature trips. These are also free but school must provide transportation for the students.
To set up a presentation or field trip please contact Russ Schipper at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-375-7210.