Ideas for Shortened Lessons

May 15, 2019

Here are some suggested tips for shortened lesson plans for the days we are crunched to 30 minutes!


All About Birds Tour – Shortened

  • Remove the Fallen Maple stop (Station B), and instead: Start at Forest Benches, and next go to pick up binoculars (Station D). Then to the stream (Station E), and then finally to the Pump House (Station C) on your way to switching with the Fill the Bill group! (If you’re really pressed for time, you may need to leave out Station C, also!) 
  • Do not review every single bird at every station, and don’t feel the need to share facts about every bird! The primary goal is to get students to describe what they observe about the birds while viewing them (real and on posters), so only take the time to introduce/share facts about the ones they mention! 
  • Get kids to move quickly along the trails by playing the “I’m Hungry” game. The leader can speed walk to get the kids to follow quickly as the hungry eagle brings up the back of the line. A great way to get from the Stream to the Pump House Trail for switching with the next group. 


Fill the Bill – Shortened

  • Remove the sunflower seed activity in the introduction, and focus on showing pictures of different bird beaks and having students describe beak shapes and purposes.
  • Remove a beak station or two (we suggest you remove the flying insects station, and the sipping nectar station). 
  • Don’t review every single station on the worksheet. Instead, focus on 2-3 stations to review and discuss to get group consensus on which tools worked best for those ones. 
  • Do still try to leave time for the game! 


Nest Building – Shortened 

  • Do a very brief introduction and show & tell of real nests, and get right into nest building right away. Once nests and presentations are finished, then you can go back to the show & tell, as well as the discussions about birds that don’t build nests, how nest building is instinctual, and interesting facts about urban nests, etc. 


Build a Bird – Shortened

  • Skip white board introduction. Instead, start with Audubon Specimen show & tell, and pick only a few specimens to compare/discuss adaptations. Get right into bird building, and come back to discussion at the end after bird models have been presented by students!