Aussie Backyard Bird Count Week 18-24 October

Sept. 15, 2021

Aussie Backyard Bird Count runs from 18th to the 24th October this year. BirdLife Australia's site has great resources for every state and an Aussie Bird Count app to download. If you know the name of the bird you see you can enter it into the search bar and add it to your list, if you don't recognise the species there is an on-board field guide that will filter the bird by size, shape, colour and flock number and give possible suspects. You count for a 20 minute block and can do as many 20 minute blocks as you like. The data collected assists BirdLife Australia in understanding more about the birds that live where people live, and it's a fun treasure hunting activity!

There is a range of resources in Purple Mash that can extend this and reinforce young minds' interest in the world around them..

Purple Mash

Within Purple Mash, if you are a subscribing school, you can find some of the resources to support the 'Aussie Backyard Bird Count' in the links below.. They include writing templates with 'Think About' boxes to prompt the writing, with prepopulated bird image banks and clipart.A to decorated with a bird boarder to advertise the count to encourage others to take part. There is a range of paint projects that children can use including creating their own owl babies with textured paints to create feathers and a quiz naming some common birds. Better, still, create your own quiz, like Mrs. Power at St John's Catholic Parish Primary School did, where her students then matched the bird sounds to the bird. To use this with your students click here.

Across the school, you could set up a blog using 2Blog where children can share their sightings and comment on each others' experiences in the birds in their backyards.

Animal Quiz.png

So many of the creative tools in Purple Mash can be used throughout the week.

Here are some ideas:

  • Produce pictograms in 2Count using their own drawings or photos they took of the birds they saw.
  • Design 3D games using 2DIY3D and go virtual bird spotting.
  • Create animations of birds in flight or swimming on a pond using 2Animate.
  • Devise a database using 2Investigate to record each bird sighted. Sort, group and filter the record cards to produce graphs and Venn diagrams. Investigate the data using boolean searches and produce reports and view statistics - powerful inquiry learning.
  • Secure the learning with a quiz using 2Quiz and the answers can be found in the database they contributed to.
  • Create a branching database using 2Question.
  • Developing Tray can be used to reinforce facts about birds while at the same time developing students reading (more details in this blog post).
  • For the younger students, Multi Drag and Placing can be used to create 'fuzzy felt' type activities where they can arrange birds in a scene, dragging and placing them in trees, on the ground or on water.
  • Have the students control a bird to fly from tree to tree using 2Go or use the 2Code for the older students to 'Feed the duck'.
  • In the Digital Technologies Scheme of Work for Y1, there is a unit called Lego Builders where the students learn about algorithms and following precise instructions when painting a picture of a bird!

All of these activities can be shared and celebrated through blogs using 2Blog.

Whatever you do to during Aussie Backyard Bird Count Week, please share your work with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages with the birdlife.org.au .