Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Science Field Trip- Magnolia Bird Farm

Field Trip to
The Magnolia Bird Farm
Anaheim, CA

1. What specific benefits would my students gain from visiting the Magnolia Bird Farm?

In collaboration with our science unit on birds and their habitat, nutrition/food, reproduction, and flight students will be able to analyze, study and view first hand all the attributes of the bird species. Students are given a tour of the facilities in which the birds live as well as the “feed” area where the different types of bird foods are kept. The tour guide will explain to students what birds eat and the nutritional value; he will then feed the birds in front of the students so that they may experience the sight of a bird eating. Students will also be able to hold and observe bird eggs. If we are lucky, an egg will hatch when students are present. Some birds are trained to be comfortable with human handling, students who wish to hold a bird may do so under the supervision of a trained employee of the bird farm. Students will be able to experience first-hand this unique animal kingdom and some may even be able to interact with a bird one-on-one and observe its body structure and features.

2. What would I need to do to adequately prepare my students before visiting this site?

1. Because some students will be holding birds, and therefore be entering an area where birds may be flying over head, it is necessary that students bring an extra shirt in case an “accident” happens from a fly-over bird.

2. Because tours are given only after 11am, students will be hungry when the tour comes to an end. Students will need to bring a sack lunch so that they may eat when hunger arrives.

3. Students will need to bring their Science Journals. Before going to the bird farm, students will brainstorm and record: What they know about birds from prior knowledge and what they would like to know. At this time, they will write three questions that they would like to research while at the bird farm. Students will reflect in their journals as well as answer the questions after the tour has finished.

4. Students need to bring a small bag in order to carry: an extra shirt, their sack lunches, their science journal & pencil.

5. Students will need to be familiar with the bird and its habitat as to respect them. I will have students conduct online research regarding the bird and its habitat, then students will compare what their research found to the habit they were able to witness at the bird farm (this will encourage the students to move beyond fact memorization to the being analytical of what they see and read).

3. What resource materials are available to assist my preparation for teaching?

After conducting a google search, the following websites will help me to research as well as teach the unit on birds:

Here are some student-friendly links:

In order to extend the unit beyond school hours, the following books encourage bird watching from their own backyards.

For bird watching in our own back yards, showing a clip like the following may help to be bring laughter to the unit. Ask students to compare this animation to what they really observed.

4. What will I do to debrief the students after we have attended the field trip?

At the bird farm:

Students will recap after the tour in their science journals, making sure to answer the research questions they posed to themselves before going entering the bird farm.

In the classroom:

Students will debrief by conducting a “news report” about their trip using the digital video flip cameras.

There will be three to a group:

1. A reporter- will report the news station by asking the interviewee questions regarding birds and the magnolia bird farm.

2. An interviewee- will answer questions asked by the reporter

3. The producer- will record using the flip camera and ensure all group members are on task

Every student must provide at least two questions and answers for their groups news segment. They may film outside and provide visuals during the news report. News segments from every group will be shown during class and posted on the class blog.

5. What can students gain from visiting the Magnolia bird farm that cannot be gained from a text book?

From exotic African birds to the California quail, the bird farm sells and houses various types of birds from all over the world. Students are provided with the opportunity to observe the different shapes, colors, and characteristics of the diverse array of birds. The opportunity to see and handle an exotic bird (observe its behaviors, smells, moods, and beautiful colors) provides students with the background knowledge and experience that will engage and interest them in the material presented and reviewed during class sessions. Hands-on learning is always more effective and, quit frankly, more fun!

6. How can I incorporate technology ?

After visiting the bird farm, students will conduct a news report using the digital video flip cameras. The news reports will be posted on a class blog or website where students will also be able to post science journal entries and upload drawings they created of birds after the field trip. By the end of the unit, the class will have a comprehensive website of the unit on birds and will be able to refer to the website throughout the school year.

Example news report:

7. How can I create a thematic lesson after visiting the bird farm?

Reading: Students will use textbooks and other related materials to conduct research for both their news reports as well as the report they will be producing during the unit. Reading is an integral part of research.

Writing: Students will write down observations, questions, and answers in their science journals. They will also be writing a script for the news report as well as writing a 1 page report on the unit of study.

Geography: After visiting the bird farm, students will research a bird and its place of origin. As a part of the report, students are to include a map which indicates the parts of the world that their bird of study has lived, as well as where the bird is most commonly found today.

Science: Students will study the habitat, nutrition/food, means of reproduction, and ability of birds to fly.

8. How can I involve the parents in this experience?

In addition to chaperoning the field trip, parents will have access to the class field trip blog where pictures, drawings, journal entries and the student news reports will be posted. Parents can leave comments on the blog as well as add family pictures of their students with pet birds.

Magnolia Bird Farm
8990 Cerritos Avenue
Anaheim, California 92804

Tours and Entry are FREE