January 24

Black and White

In a previous post, I shared pictures of the colorful birds that are frequenting my yard, but this little black and white chickadee is my favorite. Maybe it’s the name or the way they always appear formally dressed that appeals to me. Click here to learn more about the chickadee.

Although countless animals are colorful, there are many that are black and white. I’ve enjoyed reading the book below to my classes. How many black and white animals (fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, or birds) can you name?


In this story, the reader hears clues about a black and white animal, and then the animal is identified on the following page. Discern the key words as you read:  fins, flippers, looks like a fish, water, mammal.

Click here and Click here for Safeshare links to watch videos of black and white animals. The first link is for younger children.

The following link is a movement brain break using black and white animals for younger scientists. Click here.

How fun to have a black and white themed day at school or home! Dress only in black and white, play dominoes or use dice for a math game, eat Oreos for a special snack, and make one of the art projects below.

This first project introduces symmetry and the fraction one-half. Turn the white paper over to hide pencil marks. For Valentine’s Day, use red and pink paper and cut out various sizes of hearts.

I do not know who originally posted the artwork below.

January 24

Look Up!

As I stated in a previous post, my goal this month is to give you purposeful reasons to hike. This time, look up for nests. Winter is a good time to find them because they are more noticeable when deciduous trees have lost their leaves. As I hiked, I was amazed at how many nests (that I had previously walked by) I noticed up in the branches when I intentionally looked for them. Watch the Animoto below to see some of the nests I discovered. Are all nests bird nests? The larger ones most likely are squirrel nests. Click here to watch a squirrel build a nest.

I have a small collection of bird nests.  What materials did these birds use?

How astounding that every species of bird builds a nest unique to that species and that these nests are built without hands! Children will appreciate the difficulty of this engineering task when they try to construct nests of their own. Click here to check out this fun nest building investigation for families from Tinkergarten! Another option would be to collect items a bird might use to make a nest and then fashion one using your hands. How will it stay together?

Click here for the Safeshare link for the following video.

Use the videos below to compare fiction and nonfiction books about nests.

Click here for the video of Mama Built a Little Nest.

See the source image

Click here to watch an animated version of The Best Nest.

See the source image

I was looking up for nests when I spotted this bird. I think it is a red-tailed hawk.

On another walk, I eyed this hawk high in a tree. So majestic!