Fun Hand Gestures for Engaging Young Students

April 17, 2019

Mic Kisinger had some great suggestions for engaging younger students in these bird lessons. Younger students typically respond best with lots of acting out, repetition, pneumonics, etc. Sometimes adults tend to forget their audience and begin to “lecture,” especially in scientific topics like ours. While you’re teaching little ones about birds at any lesson, try using these fun, active gestures to break up all the talking! (Remember if you appear to be having fun, kids will have more fun!)

Mentioning a hummingbird? Ask students to hold out one thumb to show size of hummingbird.

Hummingbirds can fly all sorts of directions – can YOU fly backwards? Ask students to flap their wings and walk backwards.

Carry a dime in your pocket to let students see how lightweight a hummingbird is!

Carry Tic-Tacs in your pocket to show students how small a hummingbird egg is!

Mentioning a robin? Ask students to stack 2 fists together to show size of robin.

Mentioning bird feet? Have them show you their talons (big clawed hands). Have them show you their perching feet (curled fingertips). Have them show you their webbed duck feet (paddle hands).

Some birds always stand on one foot. Can you stand on one foot while I’m giving instructions?

Mentioning a flicker or woodpecker? Everybody show me how fast you can peck (hold up your left hand like a flat board, and “peck” at it with the pointer finger of your right hand)

Mentioning a chickadee? Can you make the sound that a chickadee makes? Their name is in their call! (Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!) If they’re in danger, they add on a few more dee-dee-dee’s!