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Teaching classes for beginning birders

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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 22:17   #1
BlackSpruceBog
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Question Teaching classes for beginning birders

I have been asked to teach some classes for beginning birders. One of the classes is an outdoor field session--no problem. However, I also have a 2 1/2 hour indoor session one day. I don't know what I'm going to do with that much time. I have some interesting bird ID stuff I'm going over and some local bird feeding information I'd like to share, but that won't be enough.

Does anyone have any ideas, handouts, curriculum, etc. that would be appropriate for something like this? I suppose I'll have 15-20 individuals in this session.

If you actually have documents you can share, my email address is:dingermcduff 'at' hotmail.com

Thanks.
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 22:24   #2
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Adults presumably?

Bird names and meanings (interesting old/historical)
Intro to Latin meanings eg White fronted goose= albi frons =white fronted.
Get a cd of some bird songs/calls
Drawing a bird - labelling the different areas to help with note taking/ noticing differences to help id birds eg primaries, mantle etc


Sorry just a few ideas rather than specific help!
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 22:52   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSpruceBog View Post
Does anyone have any ideas, handouts, curriculum, etc. that would be appropriate for something like this? I suppose I'll have 15-20 individuals in this session.

Thanks.
It may be worth contacting your nearest Audubon Centre, they may have some teaching resources/materials you could use/buy or at least let you use one of their teaching programs to base a session on.

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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 23:01   #4
MikeMules
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Hi, this is a worksheet I wrote for a year 7 class, prior to fieldwork. I posted it here at http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=4825
It is written for an Australian bush environment, but may be useful to you.
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Old Sunday 23rd March 2008, 03:22   #5
KorHaan
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I've been teaching adult beginning birders for 12 years, in classes of 40 to 60 persons twice a year, and I soon noticed that slides only was becoming boring for the audience.
So I began drawing birds in a simple way, explaining how anyone could make his own field notes no matter how bad his or hers drawing skills. The use of anecdotes you have personally experienced in the field is a great way to get people relaxed, a good laugh is just what is needed every now and then to ease everybody up and get them sharp again on more serious notes.
Try to show passion in every aspect of your teaching, this will be highly appreciated and it will arouse people's enthusiasm to actually go out birdwatching.
Some big, stuffed birds, especially birds of prey and owls, are also good props to have.
If you can, alternate between slides, drawings, anecdotes or whatever, to be sure people's attention is still with you.

Even silly things like urban legends are great, everybody will have an opinion and may participate in an active way.

When introducing bird sounds do not only use a CD player, but don't be afraid to do some impersonations yourself, even if they are dreadful. Try it at home first, you'll be more confident in front of your audience, but remember, a good laugh is often more appreciated than a whole CD of bird calls.

My experience is, that when you are willing to show passion as well as comic relief, people will learn the most.

My two cents, good luck!

Regards, Ronald
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Old Monday 24th March 2008, 20:22   #6
naturistbird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KorHaan View Post
I've been teaching adult beginning birders for 12 years, in classes of 40 to 60 persons twice a year, and I soon noticed that slides only was becoming boring for the audience.
So I began drawing birds in a simple way, explaining how anyone could make his own field notes no matter how bad his or hers drawing skills. The use of anecdotes you have personally experienced in the field is a great way to get people relaxed, a good laugh is just what is needed every now and then to ease everybody up and get them sharp again on more serious notes.
Try to show passion in every aspect of your teaching, this will be highly appreciated and it will arouse people's enthusiasm to actually go out birdwatching.
Some big, stuffed birds, especially birds of prey and owls, are also good props to have.
If you can, alternate between slides, drawings, anecdotes or whatever, to be sure people's attention is still with you.

Even silly things like urban legends are great, everybody will have an opinion and may participate in an active way.

When introducing bird sounds do not only use a CD player, but don't be afraid to do some impersonations yourself, even if they are dreadful. Try it at home first, you'll be more confident in front of your audience, but remember, a good laugh is often more appreciated than a whole CD of bird calls.

My experience is, that when you are willing to show passion as well as comic relief, people will learn the most.

My two cents, good luck!

Regards, Ronald

Sounds excellent advice!
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