Nature School Week 1 – Winter Birds

Welcome to Nature School! 
School is in…… or outside

At Nature School you can learn more about creatures and plants in your neighborhood. Go outside and let “nature be your teacher.” Each week I will highlight activities you can do in nature. Be sure to share a nature note, a photo, or  something you experienced at the bottom of the post (Leave a comment). Here are the first things to do!

To start, make a nature notebook

  • Tell what you did in nature and what you saw.
  • Draw some of the special things you thought were really interesting.
  • Take some photos of your discoveries and add them in your notebook

You can share your experience with others by posting on this website (down below).

Pileated Woodpecker
Photo by Lawrence Wade

Studying  Winter Birds

Our winter birds are still hanging around and if you have a bird feeder, you may have seen some of them.

First, click here to learn about some winter birds. 

If you like, click here for the Winter Birds PDF questionnaire.

Next, try identifying some Winter Birds. Use the identification page below. To download and print this page out, click here.


Canada Goose Behavior

At this time of year, Canada Geese are setting up their territories. Canada geese pairs bond for life. Their nesting sites are at a premium, so they often battle with other pairs for a nest site.

Can you observe any of these behaviors in Canada geese? Click here to download and print the PDF. Take it out into the field with you and check off each behavior you see!













Patterns in Nature

Go outside and look for patterns that you find in nature. Draw or photograph the pattern and put it in your nature notebook. (Cindy Eyden suggested this idea)

Frozen Puddle

Pine tree bark









We’d love to have you share your discoveries and experiences! Be sure and add comments, pictures, audio or video files below (we never sell or share your email information).

Stay tuned! Next week we’ll have more activities for you to do in Nature School!


14 Responses to Nature School Week 1 – Winter Birds

  1. Kate says:

    This was very fun & helpful
    Thank you Mr. Wade!

  2. ingrid says:

    this was fun i liked the goose behavior was funny.

  3. Ella says:

    I went in my Hammock Outside and through this picture

  4. Carsten and Liam says:

    We saw a Pileated woodpecker in our backyard yesterday! -Carsten and Liam from Groveland Elementary

  5. Brent Frank says:

    I was invited to Mr. Gausmann’s home to witness him adding bees to his hives. Mr. Gausmann is a teacher in Minnetonka and this is his third year having bees. His colony from last year did not survive, due to natural causes, and so today was the day to add 20,000 bees to his two hives. These bees will pollinate plants this spring and summer and provide an incredible amount of honey to support the hives with enough extra to share with the Gausmann family.

  6. Brent Frank says:

    Mr. Wade thank you so much for this nature space to share. It has been great for my heart and soul to get outside and witness the magic of nature during this spring. I noticed the rhubarb plants up by our house yesterday were enjoying the warmth and starting to grow. Rhubarb jam! I can’t wait.

  7. Jose ángel Sánchez says:

    filled by the park I wish my house with a wonderful climate we observe a beautiful Dove the weather is wonderful

  8. Amanda Maxwell says:

    Thanks for the nature notebook idea! My first grader found several recently cut tree stumps on a walk and our family went back later with our nature notebooks to make observations. We counted the rings to determine age (40-45!) and noticed several things we still need to look up…Why are the outer rings lighter in color than inner rings? Why are rings different sizes? Why are two trees of the same type and age different sizes? Why are some rings wider on one side of the tree than the other side? What type of tree is this and why might it have been cut down?

  9. Leslie says:

    Thanks for putting together these fantastic lessons! We explored a flooded area, and saw o lot of water birds . So fun!

  10. Kara says:

    Thank you so much for this great information! I am going to get the kids going on their nature notebooks today!

  11. Emily says:

    We did the winter birds lesson today at Westwood Nature Center. It was a very successful outing! We saw a pair of cardinals, a pair of hawks which swooped down pretty low, a beautiful blue jay, Canada geese, mallard ducks, a pileated woodpecker, and many more we weren’t able to identify.

  12. Hope Betterman says:

    Thank you Mr Wade! Don’t know if you remember me, my name is Hope Bourgeault, you were my 6th grade teacher! Now I’m 30 and have a couple kids myself. Me and my kids are doing this project this morning! Heading to the woods. 🙂 Thank you!

  13. Mark Storck says:

    Larry, this looks fantastic! I am going to try to incorporate it into my weekly distance learning plan. I’ve been trying to think of ways to get my students outside. Thank you! Will each week’s edition be available as time moves forward? I don’t start with my kids for 2 more weeks, but would like to start with this one. Thanks

    • Amy Altenburg says:

      This is great – thank you! I teach with Mark who commented above and I will also be providing this link to my families for their at home nature learning.

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