Julie Laughlin’s seventh-grade life science class at Stone Middle School recently discovered variations in bird species during a hands-on class project designed to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
In groups of four, students were given clothespins, toothpicks, scissors and spoons to represent bird beaks. Starting with small bird seed then moving on to large bird seed, hard shell macaroni and Cheetos Puffs, the teams were given twenty seconds to gather as much food possible using the beak they were holding before moving on to the next food.
Each bird had to see how much food they could get and if they could survive in different habitats.
“After the first time at the small bird seed and then moving to the large bird seed, the students with the spoon beak found the toothpick beak started coming after them to get their food because they couldn’t get any and felt it was unfair,” said Laughlin. “We talked about the reality of that situation and then moved to a different habitat because it was either stay there at the small bird seed and die or move. Again, we talked about the reality of moving.”
“The students learned some real life examples of survival and how not every type of animal can survive in every type of habitat,” said Laughlin. “It got wild at times, but they had a blast and we all laughed a lot!”
PHOTO: Working in groups of four, Stone Middle School seventh grade life science students Skylar McNeal (left), Brianna Lowe, Keegan Kennedy and Tristan Griffin compete to gather as much bird seed, macaroni and Cheetos puffs as possible in a given time. The students were given clothespins, toothpicks, scissors and spoons to represent various species of birds.