Exercises: Foundation to Year 2

Exercises: Foundation to Year 2


A table from the Atlas showing the bird records surrounding a primary school in the ACT

A table from the Atlas showing the bird records surrounding a primary school in the ACT

  • For the following discussion and activities, choose 6 of the birds listed near your school that you think students would be familiar with, or you could use the ones below.


Bird selection

Clockwise from top left: Australian Magpie – Source: FlickrEOL, image by Leo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo – Source FlickrEOL, image by Leo, Australian Pelican – Source FlickrEOL, image by Arthur Chapman, Laughing Kookaburra Source: Flickr EOL, Image by: Leo, Black Swan, Source: Flickr EOL, Image by: Leo, Crimson Rosella, Source: Flickr EOL, Image by: Leo.


The following questions could begin the discussion with students.

  • Does anyone know what any of these birds are? Have you seen one of them before? Do you remember where you saw it? Would you see all of these birds in the same place? Does anyone know any facts about any of the birds? Do you know what any of these birds eat? Do you think any of these birds would visit the school yard? Why/ why not?

At this point, or at any point following, any of the Activities 1-6 could be completed by the students. The list is below. These can be modified in any way to suit your local area.

  • What sound does each bird make? (If one is available, play them the sounds from the Atlas of Living Australia website. You may find other sound clips elsewhere).

Go outside

  • Walk around the school yard and observe. Ask students to write down any birds they see. If they don’t know the names, write size, shape, colour, where they saw it, maybe draw it. You may like to send the students out in smaller groups to different areas of the school yard.
  • If possible, take some digital photos of birds in the school yard. If you like, you can log the sightings on the Atlas of Living Australia.  See ALA User Guide 4 – How to log a sighting. You can then view the sightings you have made when you zoom in to your school area on the map.
  • Record the birds you saw in a table. Activity 8 Below is a table students could use to record their findings.
  • Students could also complete Activity 7 to report on the birds that were found in the school yard.

Further discussion

  • Did we see any of the birds on our list? Did we hear any of the birds from our list? Based on what we know about the birds on our list, would we expect to see them in the schoolyard? Why/ why not? Did we see any other birds? Does anyone know what those birds are called? Was there more of one type of bird than others? Were there any differences in the birds seen by different groups?
  • Did we see no birds at all? If not, why not? What are some ideas about what we could do next time to make sure we see some? Were there any birds we did not recognise? If there were some we didn’t recognise, where might you go to find out what it was?
  • Do you think if we went outside at a different time of day that we would see different birds? (Try that. Compare the list from the first visit to this list. Are there any differences? Why/ why not? Did we find what we expected?) What about at a different time of year?
  • Who might find our observations useful?


Available activities:

1: Activity 1: Draw Birds 1

2: Activity 2: Draw Birds 2

3: Activity 3: Similar Birds

4. Activity 4: Similar Birds Table

5: Activity 5 – Beak and Feet

6:Activity 6: Beak and Feet 2

7: Activity 7: Visitor report

8: Activity 8: Record of Birds


Associated Australian Curriculum links for F-2