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This article provides three, inquiry-based activities that help urban students learn about nature—observing coloration patterns of pigeons, measuring local rainfall and comparing it to other areas, and conducting a biodiversity study by observing a patch of lawn. The projects do not require special materials.
A selection from Science and Children—March 2000
Excellent article, awesome ideas for conducting class projects with the kids. Nowadays kids and adults, equal, are experiencing a lack of nature with terrible consequences for mental health, here two very simple activities that take outmost of urban ecosystems. Both projects, pigeons colors and tones, and rainfall measurement are feasible and easy to implement, and doesn't require expensive or fancy materials.
Juan Felipe Restrepo Mesa (Cartagena, 0)
Not all children have the advantage of living in a home with lots of property. As an inner-city child, my opportunities to explore nature were very limited. This article addresses the needs of urban children and makes suggestions that help them observe nature where they live. Included in the article is an inquiry opportunity to observe pigeons. This is followed by rainfall records and a lawn survey. It doesn’t take much and can include the trees, birds, insects and more around the school yard.
Adah (San Antonio, TX)
The author provides a number of very good suggestions of ways students in urban environments can do small inquiry investigations out-of-doors. While the pigeon watch link is not active, they actually provide multiple additional opportunities at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pigeonwatch/pigeonwatch.html for students in a variety of environments. Easy to implement and interesting to do recommended for any elementary classroom.
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)