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Grade 1: Bird Conversation at Barr Lake

To kick off their year-long interdisciplinary service learning project, first graders (along with Head of School Josh Cobb) visited Barr Lake to learn about bird conservation. Upon their arrival, students were greeted by scientists from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies who guided them on observation hikes, through experiential obstacle courses, and demonstrated bird banding, with real birds!
While observing scientists band the birds, the first graders got an up-close and personal encounter with feathered friends who use Barr Lake as a stopping point during fall migration. They learned that banding is a harmless way to better understand birds, their lifespans, migration patterns, and how they change over time. The experts showed the first graders how they fit the bird’s leg with a small metal band and explained how each is engraved with a unique number so that if the bird is recaptured or found later, scientists will know when and where it first received a band. After watching the scientists weigh and measure the birds, several students got to hold the small feathered friends and helped release them back into the environment.

In addition to these activities, the first graders also took notes in their science journals that they will refer to in future research. Because birds play such a crucial role in our environment as pollinators, seed dispersers, fertilizers, and more, engaging activities surrounding birds are built into science, Spanish, Tinker Time, literacy, art, and math courses throughout the year. Later this year, as an added empathy and service learning element, students will work together to find ways to make Graland’s campus more bird-friendly. Nice job, first-grade conservationists! 
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.