Winter is a good time of year to observe birds and other animals with your class. Explain that in areas where it gets cold and snows in the winter it is harder for animals to find food. Tell students you are going to help the animals by placing feeders out for them.
Create simple bird feeders by rolling pine cones in peanut butter and then in bird seed. Tie a piece of yarn to the top so it can hang from a tree branch.
You may also use stale pieces of bread. Cut the bread into shapes using cookie cutters, spread with peanut butter, sprinkle with bird seed.
Milk cartons can also be used for bird feeders by cutting out squares on each side and placing bird seed in the bottom.
Take the students outdoors and hang their feeders in a tree. If possible hang them in a tree that is visible from the classroom window so they can observe them. If this is not possible go out several times a day to observe.
When there is freshly fallen snow in your area, place a plate or tin full of seed and/or food outdoors. Check on it later in the day or the next day and observe the animal tracks that are around it in the snow. Identify the animal tracks to see what animals ate the food.
Suggested Book List
Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1)
Animals in Winter (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science)
All About Animals in Winter (Celebrate Winter)
Animals in Winter (Bullfrog Books: What Happens in Winter?)
How and Why Animals Prepare for Winter (How and Why Series)
Animals in Winter (Rosen Real Readers: Early Emergent)
Animals in Winter (All About Winter)
First Snow in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy