(One Sticker at a Time)
In October the SK Usagi class discovered an unexpected, unfortunate surprise in the outdoor playground- we found a small bird laying motionless on the ground. After Mister C removed the bird, some of the SKs shared their ideas about what might have happened:
“Maybe it fell.”
“Maybe it bumped its head!”-FE
We could only make guesses, but since the bird was on the ground near a window, the SKs all quickly agreed that it must have indeed bumped its head on one of the windows above. We then wondered why.
Discovering a bird in the Outdoor Classroom
Back in the classroom, the SKs conducted a science experiment using a flashlight and the plexiglass dividers at our lunch tables. We noticed that while you can see through them and the light shines through just like a window, you can also see an image on the surface called a reflection. Windows can act just like mirrors!
Can you spot the illuminated mask reflected in the plexiglass?
We then had an extended workshop about light, and we started to learn some science vocabulary including: reflective, transparent, translucent, and opaque.
Shining a flashlight through different objects then recording our observations on a chart
Mister C added some tools in our learning centres so that we can continue to experiment with light during play. We are scientists, after all! In each centre we have flashlights and a variety of materials that are reflective, transparent, translucent, and opaque. We even have some charts to record our observations.
Shining a flashlight through some colourful transparent connectors
Using a flashlight to examine an opaque object in the classroom
Using a chart to record our findings and to copy the scientific vocabulary words
When we went back outside to play, we examined the windows and discovered that they have a strong reflection, so we wondered if the bird might have mistaken a window for the sky.
“I can see the sky there! They still don’t know it’s a window!” -LH
“If the bird doesn’t know if it’s the sky because it’s the reflection then it will just bang itself on there.” -AB
Looking up at the windows to see the reflection of the sky
We shared our thoughts about solving the problem for other birds in the future:
“We need the birds to protect theyselves.” -OB
“Make them don’t bump into the window.” -LH
Mister C shared that sometimes people put stickers called decals on their windows to interrupt the reflection and help the birds to see that there is actually glass there that they should avoid. The SKs unanimously decided that they wanted to help the birds at KCS by making some window decals of their own!
To make our decals, first we each chose our favourite kind of bird. Then, we traced an outline of the bird on a clear acetate using a photograph underneath.
Carefully tracing an outline of an eagle
We then painted a thick coat using a solution of white glue and dish soap.
Painting on the first layer of the special solution
When our artwork was dry, we coloured our birds with permanent markers.
We had the choice of using the bird’s true-to-life colours or coming up with our own
Finally, we peeled our designs away from the acetate. We were each left with a beautiful window decal of our own!
The stunning and unique finished products
When everything was finished, we placed our decals up on the windows overlooking our outdoor classroom. Gorgeous! We hope that this will help the birds to avoid bumping their heads in the future.
We used a bit of water to help the decals stick as we gently pressed them to the windows
We had to press them very carefully, but thanks to the dish soap they stay slippery and easy to adjust
When we finished our project, we noticed that there were still lots of windows left with no stickers. We talked about what we could do, and an SK suggested that other students could help.“We [don’t] need just our class to put stickers on, we need other class to put stickers!
“More, more, more!” -LK
“We can write a letter!” -AY
We are so proud of our bird decals, but we need your help
Now SK Usagi is calling out to you! If you would like to make your own decals, please check out the following website for a tutorial: https://ny.audubon.org/conservation/how-create-window-decals-prevent-bird-collisions.
You can either add your finished decals to your own windows at home or you can bring them in to KCS so that we can add them to our windows here at school.
Our letter (To KCS: We need more stickers for the windows. We don’t want the birds to hit the windows. Will you please help us? Love, The SK Usagi Class)
If you choose to join our initiative, please bring your finished decal to your KCS Arrival door where a designated bin will be waiting!
Thank you in advance for joining us in helping to save the KCS birds one sticker at a time.
– Written by Mr.C