Exploring Bird Nests

Early Years (Age 3 – 6)

Curriculum Goal

Kindergarten: Materials and Structure

  • Listen and respond to others, both verbally and non-verbally (e.g., using the arts, using signs, using gestures and body language), for a variety of purposes (e.g., to exchange ideas, express feelings, offer opinions) and in a variety of contexts
  • Retell experiences, events, and familiar stories in proper sequence
  • Demonstrate the ability to take turns during activity and discussions
  • Make predictions and observations before and during investigations
  • Select and use materials to carry out their own explorations
  • Communicate results and findings from individual and group investigations
  • Ask questions about and describe some natural occurrences, using their own observations and representations


  • The students and teacher observe bird nests in their outdoor environment and explore what bird nests are made out of.


  • Bird nests
  • Yarn
  • Cotton Balls
  • Tinsel
  • Gold ribbon
  • Red fabric petals
  • Moss
  • Small strips of birch bark
  • Leaves


  • Find different kinds of abandoned bird nests and bring them to class so the children can explore them.
    • Guiding questions:
      • What is a bird nest?
      • How do birds make their nests?
      • What are nests made of? (Grass, pine needles, twigs, sticks, dead leaves, animal fur, feathers etc.)
      • Where do we find bird nests?
      • Are all bird nests the same? What makes them different? Why might they be different?
  • Optional: Pull apart an old nest and show students the materials that were making up the nest.
  • Discuss why nests are important for birds.
  • Ask students what materials we could leave outside so that we can help birds build their nests.
    • Make a list of the materials
  • Ask students to justify why that material would be useful for building a bird’s nest.
  • Show students the materials you’ve brought in for the class to leave outside. Do not leave any items that could harm an animal outside. Explain they can leave them on the ground, tree trunks or anywhere they think will be most accessible to birds.
  • Allow students to decide where to leave the materials. Ask them to explain why they chose their specific materials and destination for placing them.

Look Fors

  • Are students curious and able to investigate and identify what bird nests are made of?
  • Can students communicate and rationalize why they think specific materials would be beneficial for constructing a bird’s nest?
  • Can the students recognize the differences in bird nests?
  • Can students communicate and rationalize areas to leave the material that are accessible to birds?

Based on Mine Centre Public School Teacher Marge Hale and Sarah Empey’s Lesson

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