Superintendent Dr. Alan Cron
34 MacKinlay Way,
Rockland, MA 02370
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 4, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Esten Kindergarten Students Turn Recycled Goods into Bird Feeders
ROCKLAND — The R. Stewart Esten Elementary School kindergarten class recently completed an educational unit on the environment with a specific emphasis on learning about birds, and they had the opportunity to put their new knowledge to the test in a real-world scenario.
The unit stressed project-based learning as part of the developmental curriculum for kindergartners and challenged the students to develop a project based on the learning materials. After a field trip to the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell and a glimpse at natural bird habitats, the students were inspired to read about bird feeders and how they could use recycled materials to make their own.
“This developmental unit challenges the growing minds of our kindergartners by allowing them to be creative and resourceful in their processing of new knowledge. By applying what they learn in the classroom in the real world, some of our youngest students are able to engage beyond the classroom in a way that, in years past, was reserved for older children,” Principal Marilyn Smith said.
The children used a variety of materials such as gallon milk jugs, small quart milk cartons, building blocks and cardboard boxes. They then filled them with everything from worms, to pine needles and seed.
Even the worms were part of the educational process — part of the project involved cultivating worms right in the classroom to learn about a worm’s lifecycle.
“I am so proud of the execution of this project. It’s so impressive that our kindergartners were so engaged in this unit and shared with me their ‘Birdhouse Journals’ where they documented the observations they made,” Principal Smith said. “This is truly a creative, cooperative problem solving unit.”
At the conclusion of this unit and the accompanying project, the kindergartners are now able to recognize several different species of birds, including sparrows, blackbirds, and blue jays as they show up looking for a special treat in their hand-made feeders.
Below are examples of the bird feeders that the children made and examples of their journals associated with this project.