phd mama

from diapers to deconstruction

Books of a Feather

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owlMy daughters have always loved birds; “bird” was one of the first signs each of them used. It’s hard not to be impressed by these beautiful feathered creatures whose territory includes air, land, and sea. My children’s love for birds has inspired me to pay more attention to the sights and sounds of these winged beauties, and it seems like every day we learn a new species or song just by paying attention to the world around us. I’ve compiled the list below as a unit study on birds generally; there are lots of ways to get more specific (with owls or ducks or birds of a specific location), and I hope my ideas here help your imagination take flight.


About Birds by Cathryn Sill and John Sill (language arts, science)

Are You My Mother?, The Best Nest, and Flap Your Wings by P.D. Eastman (language arts)

Aviary by Paul Nelson (art)

Baby Birds and How They Grow by Jane R. McCauley (language arts, science)

Birds by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek (language arts)

Birds, Nests and Eggs by Mel Boring and Linda Garrow (language arts, science)

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies and Melissa Sweet (language arts, science, history)

Bring on the Birds by Susan Stockdale (language arts, science)

Fine Feathered Friends: Poems for Young People by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple (language arts)

Fine Feathered Friends: All About Birds by Tish Rabe and Aristides Ruiz (language arts, science)

How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird by Jacques Prévert and Mordicai Gerstein (language arts)

National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America by Jonathan Alderfer and Paul Hess (language arts, science)

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America by Jonathan Alderfer (language arts, science)

Stokes Beginner’s Guide to Birds: Eastern Region (language arts, science)

Wild Wings: Poems for Young People by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple (language arts, science)


The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That: Wings and Things (science)

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s YouTube channel (science)

Hear the calls of New York’s birds. (science)

The Fascinating World of Birds (science)

The Life of Birds (science, geography)

“Put Down the Duckie” (music)

“Rubber Duckie” (music)

“Three Little Birds” (music)

You Are My Little Bird (not all bird-related, all good, music)


Build or decorate a birdhouse. (art)

Color birds and create your own bird book. (art and science)

Create a bird mobile. (art)

Draw birds with The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds by John Muir Laws (language arts, art)

Fold origami birds. (art)

Go to a local river or pond and feed the ducks. (science, physical education)

Grab some binoculars and go birding in the forest or the backyard. (science, physical education)

Learn real bird calls with these plush pals. (science)

Make a birdfeeder. (art, science)

Pile up pillows and blankets for a kid-sized nest. (just plain fun)

Play a bird memory game (or make your own!). (art)

Trace and color Charley Harper’s beautiful birds. (art)

Use pictures of birds (stickers, magazine cutouts) and feathers to create a collage. (art)

Follow me @ErinWyble!

One thought on “Books of a Feather

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