“The kids really enjoyed their time with Nancy and Margaret. They kept asking if the ‘bird’ ladies were coming back during our time today,” said Yolanda Hamilton, designer of the Black Birders Week YDH IDEA Learning Pod. “My son was eager to share what he learned yesterday. This was huge for him to be so engaged."
Black Birders Week June 2021: WCAS Volunteers Lead YDH IDEA Learning Pod at Garfield Park Reservation
WCAS volunteers, Nancy Howell and Margaret Attenweiler, led a 45-minute birding session at the YDH Montessori Learning Pod on the first day of camp on June 1, 2021 at the Garfield Park Reservation, Old Birch Picnic area, located in Garfield Heights, Ohio.
Yolanda D. Hamilton, Ed.M, CDP, Principal Consultant, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, YDH Consulting, LLC operates the YDH IDEA Learning Pod, a week-long outdoor summer camp. Ms. Hamilton designed the YDH IDEA Learning Pod in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide access to equitable educational opportunities for children who were homeschooled or virtual learners during the 2020-2021 academic school year.
The class is unique because the learning environment is in the outdoors and without walls. The student activities - whether reviewing a bird identification handout or on the trail looking for birds - utilizes every bit of the park's natural greenspace for learning, exploring, and recreation.
Six students, ages 5 to 9 from kindergarten to third grade, learned about birds and birding from Nancy and Margaret. To facilitate learning, each of the six campers was equipped with a pair of binoculars as well. (Students received Kicko novelty toy binoculars.)
Bird walk leaders were intent on communicating to the students that getting out in nature is good for everyone. Birds are easy to see since they can be found in habitats around us, they make sounds that we can listen to, many are colorful, and they have cool adaptations to help them survive.
Before starting out on the trail, Nancy and Margaret reviewed how to use binoculars, what to do while bird watching, and the group looked at pictures of common birds they hoped to see while on the bird walk.
During the walk students were encouraged to point out birds they saw, what they noticed about a bird's color or pattern or how the bird was behaving. The students learned to use their eyes and ears to detect birds, watch for movement, and listen for calls or songs.
They learned about several different types of bird habitat during the short walk through the woods and a meadow. The group observed American Robins, American Crows, a Red-eyed Vireo, and many insects and plants.
But most importantly, students were encouraged to share their discoveries with each other, have a good time, and know that they don't have to travel far to see birds.
In addition, each student received a "Common Birds of Ohio" CD Guidebook published by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, publication 414(205). This is not a library book, but more of a booklet/pamphlet, but chocked with information. Booklets were provided by The Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Educator Resource Center. Learn More
“The kids really enjoyed their time with Nancy and Margaret. They kept asking if the ‘bird’ ladies were coming back during our time today,” said Hamilton. “My son was eager to share what he learned yesterday. This was huge for him to be so engaged."
Birding really is good for everyone!
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