CALUMET - Students in Anita Levy's fourth-grade class at C-L-K Elementary School Wednesday were trying to figure out what various birds ate by looking at their beaks, and some were right, while others were off with their guesses.
In order to help the students learn how to identify birds and what they eat, Levy took advantage of a kit provided by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education at the Copper Country Intermediate School District office in Hancock.
Levy said another C-L-K Elementary teacher acquired the kit, and Levy was the first to put it to use. The kit, which will be used by all the fourth-grade classes in the school, contains kitchen items, which resemble or perform a function similar to different bird beaks, such as basters, chopsticks and a ladle.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Above, C-L-K Elementary School fourth-grade students, from left, Emily Hyrkas, Hannah Schneider and Jacob Lenger listen to Joan Chadde, education program coordinator for the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education at the Copper Country Intermediate School District office in Hancock Wednesday. Right, Dana Richter, president of the Copper Country Audubon Club, identifies a few birds to C-L-K Elementary School fourth-grade students Wednesday.
Learning about bird beaks is part of her instruction on animal adaptations, Levy said, and having the kit helps to make the children understand how various bird beaks perform, whether it's scooping fish out of the water, drinking flower nectar, eating seeds or getting insects from tree bark.
"It's nice to have these extra resources," she said of the kit.
Joan Chadde, education program coordinator for the WUPSCMEE, said the kit was put together with the help of Dana Richter, president of the Copper Country Audubon Club.
"We created it last spring," she said.
Richter said the 200-member club provided $200 to create the kit, which also contains toy stuffed birds to help with identification.
During his presentation on bird identification, Richter told the students all that's necessary to become a bird watcher is to see a bird, then look it up in a book to name it.
"Anybody can be a bird watcher," he said.
Chadde said the bird identification kit will be stored at the CCISD building, and be let out on loan to schools as needed.
The bird identification kit joins about 10 others the center has, including for rocks, trees, shipping and owls, Chadde said, and they seem to be popular with students.
"It's great to see how excited kids are for learning," she said.
Kurt Hauglie can be reached at khauglie@ mininggazette.com.