Experiences and Outcomes:
The aim of this lesson is to identify birdlife today and then compare your findings to the birdlife John Muir would have experienced when he lived in Dunbar, Scotland from the year 1838 to 1849.
Before you begin ask your class to look through the John Muir graphic novel and read the section that describes John exploring nature in the first section of the book The Wild Boy of Dunbar.
Explain to your class that history tells us that John Muir could identify up to 71 birds from their song, nest or egg.
Now print copies of the worksheet Explore Birds so your class can complete this activity.
Reflecting on Learning
- Had learners considered how to identify birds before?
- Were learners aware of how many birds there use to be in Scotland compared to how many there are left today?
- How do they (and other people) take care of habitats to ensure birds are protected?
- Identify birds from their song, nest, eggs or appearance
- Use keys to help to identify birds
- Demonstrate what they can do to help protect birds
Further work/ useful resources
The Royal Society for the Protection of the Birds
The Royal Society for the Protection of the Birds provides more ideas and activities to use with this section of the John Muir story.
This site includes links to wildlife explorer clubs as well as other educational resources.
The Woodland Trust
The Expert Bird Spotter is another good activity to extend this lesson as it provides opportunities for your pupils to learn how to identify birds.