On Bird Hill
On Bird Hill by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bob Marshall
The On Bird Hill – Teacher’s Guide (8 pages, free download) features activities that target national science, math, writing, and art education standards for grades K-2. This website provides background information, digital content, and supplementary activities to complement the printable Guide.
Supplemental Ideas for the Activities in the Guide:
Activity 1. Retellings and Reenactments
This video of an egg hatching will complement your reenactment of the story of On Bird Hill.
- What differences do you notice between the two hatchings?
- Does it take long for a real chick to hatch?
- What is the chick like when it comes out of the egg?
Activity 2. Sequential Storytelling
Use this Story Board organizer to create a numbered sequence of the most important story events. Invite children to draw and/or write what happens in each square of the organizer.
Activities 5 and 6. So Many Nests & Build a Nest
Take a look at the Cornell Lab’s NestWatch site for more nest identification tips, including a Clutch Size chart. Show children images of different bird nests and have them guess at who they might belong to. (Don’t be fooled by non-bird nests!)
Activity 7. Camouflage and Seek
Both animals and eggs use their coloration to hide from predators. Check out the images below for camouflage inspiration and let kids get creative by designing their own patterned eggs.
Activity 9. Bouncing Baby Bird
Refer to the video below for a step-by-step guide to the activity. As an alternative, you may choose to play the video and answer the activity questions without doing the experiment.
Activity 10. Comparing Critters
Use the following sites to help you figure out what birds are common in your area:
Sort by region, habitat, and lots of other factors to find out who your neighborhood friends are!
Activity 11. See a Baby Chick Hatch
Reference the video for the Retelling and Reenactments activity to observe the hatching of a baby chick. You can also visit the All About Birds Bird Cams page to view livestreams of different bird nests, including a Red-tailed Hawk’s nest and a Great Horned Owl’s nest.
Activity 12. Changing Chicks
Can you tell whose baby is whose? Use the pictures below to play a matching game with children and compare the ways young and adult birds look.