Monday, March 2, 2009

Buzzard Day Resources and Activities

Here are some ideas to use with next week's News-2-You issue "Buzzard Day." If I have time I want to do an adapted book about turkey vultures using Intellitools Classroom Suite (haven't used it in awhile as I've been concentrating on Boardmaker), which I will post to the exchange. And keep an eye out on Adapted Learning as there are sure to be lots of good activities posted there too. The News-2-You support group started by Kate Ahern is growing weekly with more and more people starting to get brave and contribute. Check out Kate's awesome ideas for this week's edition of "Water for Africa."

Arts and Crafts
Did You Know?
A group of vultures is called a "kettle"
Turkey vultures are bald so their heads don't get gunky when they pull the guts and other goodies out of dead animals
Turkey vultures pee on their legs to cool themselves off when they get hot and to clean off their legs after walking through dead animal carcasses

Geography Ideas
  • Study about deserts; compare the desert climate to where you live; this article ties in to last week's "Water for Africa" story
  • Learn about Ohio; try this one too
  • Vulture Vegetable Bites (if you don't have an oven these can also be done in an electric skillet)
  • Since vultures eat mainly meat, why not try taste testing different types of cold cuts from the deli? Interesting choices would be liverwurst, (cooked) bratwurst, hard salami, etc. Be sure to be aware of any religious dietary issues (I have a student who does not eat pork products). You could easily modify my Great Green Foods Taste Test activity to accommodate a meat taste test.
  • From a quick Google search I learned that people also actually cook and eat turkey vultures; lots of tips for keeping the meat from getting stringy (UGH!)
Motor Skills/Games/Sensory
  • Lay prone on a scooter and "fly" across the gym floor
  • Do the same thing while holding a towel or sheet like a sail
  • If available, use an Airwalker swing or swing platform to "fly"
  • Use large plastic tongs to pick up various small items (like a vulture's beak)
  • Go on a "bird walk" now that spring is arriving; how many birds can you count?
  • Use chopsticks to eat a snack like mini marshmallows
  • Alternatively substitute a pincer grip with fingers for tongs or chopsticks
  • Play a game like Operation (my kids can't play by themselves but they love the buzzer and "blinky light" so we pair them up with peer buddies and give them voice output with appropriate comments; loads of fun!)
  • Fill a bin with various textures of feathers
  • Get creative and fill bins with various "body parts" made from food items (spaghetti for intestines, cottage cheese for brains, etc.; look here for more ideas)
  • Listen to the sounds vultures make

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