Since my family and I moved to our new town here in Nova Scotia, I’ve been working on ways to promote physical activity within our community. After meeting with our amazing Parks & Recreation department, I came up with the idea of creating a birding-based scavenger hunt to help families get outside and connect with nature over March Break.
The scavenger hunt involves three steps:
To help set this all up, I created two main resources: the Birding Field Guide and the Bird Information Cards.
To start the activity, the teacher will print out and hide the various Bird Information Cards from the downloadable set. Each card features the following information:
The Bird Information Cards can be hidden around your school’s grounds, at a local park (if you can access it during your PE lessons), or throughout your community (if you want to use this activity as an extracurricular game for families to play). I’ve also included a Google Slides template so that you can create your own Bird Information Cards to highlight species that can be found in your area!
As students find the hidden bird cards, they write down the bird’s name and some of its identification information onto their Birding Field Guide Sheet. Their objective is to find all twelve Bird Information Cards and add them to their guide.
Once a bird has been entered into a student’s Birding Field Guide, that student can start trying to find the real-life version of that bird in their area. Once they do, they can add that bird to their life list by marking it as a “lifer” in their field guide. A life list is a tool that birders use to keep track of the different bird species that they have observed in the wild. Adding a bird to your life list for the first time makes it a “lifer” (e.g. “check out that Yellow-Breasted Chat! That’s a lifer for me!”)
When a student adds a “lifer” to their list, they earn the amount of Bird Points associated with that bird. Students can use their accumulated Bird Points to unlock the different Birder Levels features on their field guide:
The goal of the game is to try to unlock as many Birder Levels as possible within the timeframe that the teacher sets for the activity!
Want to learn more about why birding deserves to have a spot in your PE curriculum, how it can benefit your students’ health, and what other resources are available to help celebrate birding in your school community? Check out my blog post on birding in PE!
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