From my last post (Super Adventurers!!), you’ll remember that I promised to report back on our first day adventuring into project-directed learning (also called learner-directed) with the idea for August to pick the topic and for us to build some learnin’ around it.
Since we start our flexi-schooling days out at the Guelph Lake Nature Centre watching the birds (see my last post: Morning Bird Call ), it will be no surprise that August picked…
Here’s a video showing just how she came up with the theme. See how the mind engages once set free?
We took our cues from the master pilots, them birds, and began to assemble materials based on their magical flying apparatus: their wings.
AUGUST: “They have to be light.”
DAWN: “In fact, bird bones are hollow.”
August found reeds (hollow and light) and some long grasses down at the dam. The dollar store took care of the tissue paper and the feathers. From there we went to the library and piled up on planes, fast birds, flightless birds, Amelia Earhart (girl power, wherever we can!), war planes and some fun fictional picture books for the imagination.
(I made a mental note of finding my old copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull for nighttime reading.)
August: “Peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world! More fast than the Cheetah.”
(We learned this from Guelph’s own awesome Bird programme Wild Ontario at our very favourite thing: Nature Guelph
AUGUST: “No. I learned it before that from Nathan and Miranda at the park.”
Then, we called in our special speaker, Captain Matheson.
August: “You mean Grandpa.”
Yes, my dad is a pilot- former bush pilot turned commercial jumbo jet pilot and all around plane geek.
August: “Pilot bunny would fly. He’s small and it was almost Easter.”
Grandpa taught us about the 4 forces of flight.
August: “He got a piece of paper and he blew on the top and it went up!”
Something to do with the fast-moving air having less pressure, and the still air below more pressure so it pushes the paper up. That’s why wings are designed for air to move faster over the top.
August: “Then we went to the park and tested out the wing thing. At first, it fell. Then, bunny flew!”
Dawn: “Grandpa said it needed a tail for balance so it wouldn’t topple over.”
August: “And for it to go straight.”
All in all, August said: “My favorite part was making the wings. I like birds. I wish I could fly.”
sweet, wish I could fly too!
Other bird fun. Look at beaks and feet. Figure out how different adaptations affect how and what each bird eats, and where it lives. Find objects that resemble different beaks… Who has a beak like a pair of tweezers? Set up a demonstration to show how the tweezerbeak bird gets its food. I loved setting up these investigations in my classroom!