I went to a marvelous teacher training at the National Zoo this past Saturday. One part of the workshop was simply to provide information and insight into all the different educational opportunities for children (and teachers) at the zoo. Additionally, the workshop allowed us to "roll up our shirt sleeves" and explore how you might teach math simply by studying birds. We did a variety of fun activities - exploring different aspects of birds including colors, sizes, shapes, beaks, habitats, nests, and eggs.
At one point, we took a short walk through the bird exhibits....check out these photos I took.
"Bird" - it is not just one thing, is it?
I've always known that animals are a great way to capture children's interests and get them thinking. I believe you could teach them any subject with animals as your starting point - reading, writing, arithmetic, roar! :-)
But photographs themselves are an extraordinary tool to open children's eyes to the world. If they aren't lucky enough to traipse through the zoo with you, give children a slideshow, surround them with photos, discover Tana Hoban and other photographic books, give them visuals, visuals, visuals...to help them remember.
“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.” —Chinese Proverb