Third-grade students at the Lincoln School in Bergen County have an opportunity to explore the outdoor adventures of birding thanks to their teacher and a grant from NJEA. This interdisciplinary program is funded through a $9,747 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education that was awarded to Hasbrouck Heights School District teacher Gayle Dubofsky.
Teachers set up a birding center in each of the participating classrooms. The largest classroom serves as the main observatory. Students use this class to observe birds in the sanctuary. The sanctuary contains bird houses constructed by the children as well as commercially purchased ones and other components.
Students select a bird to conduct a research study and produce their own non-fiction birding guide to share with other classes. Children also create clay sculptures, poems, pillows, drawings, and t-shirts based on their bird.
All parents, board of education, and community dignitaries are invited to the evening Birding Museum. Each student becomes a museum docent of the Birding Museum, where the students display their creations, journals, and photographs. A question and answer session allows students to share their newly acquired knowledge with the adult visitors.
Professional development opportunities are made available at an in-service day for all district teachers of grades K-3. The district’s website is updated with press releases to describe current activities.
The students enjoyed an amazing year and couldn't wait to get to school to find out what new projects they would be doing each week. If you want to know what it takes to stir that kind of interest in elementary school students, read the Final Report.
For further information, contact:
School – (201) 288-2365