Education Resources

Birds and Bird Conservation: Teaching Resources

The Brookline Bird Club is committed to promoting education about birds and bird conservation. The following websites, organizations, and books may be useful to K-12 teachers, in Massachusetts and beyond, who want to stimulate their students to learn about birds, preserve birds and their habitats, and, more generally, enjoy and respect the wonders of nature. This list is ever-growing. If you find a resource to add to this list, please let us know.  We are committed to including all in birding. Thanks!

Web Sites with Resources and Materials for Teachers

  1. The Massachusetts Audubon Society aims to “protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife.”  The many individual wildlife sanctuaries within Mass Audubon offer a wide variety of bird-oriented programs, classes, events, and camps for children and young birders.   The Drumlin Farm sanctuary in Lincoln features an extensive Youth Birding program, K-8 environmental education programs, and a community preschool to introduce young children to birds and other wildlife.  The Ipswich River sanctuary in Topsfield features summer “Nature Day” camps, “Sense of Wonder Walks” for children, and curriculum and professional development for teachers.    The Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport offers a bird-banding program, a “natural classroom” on Plum Island, an “introduction to birds” field trip, and workshops for teachers. Check the Mass Audubon web site for programs and events at other sanctuaries throughout Massachusetts.

  2. The National Audubon Society offers an environmental education program, “Audubon Adventures,” developed for teachers and students in grades 3-5 and designed to meet Common Core Language Arts and Next Generation Science Standards while following the guidelines of the North American Association for Environmental Education. The Education section of the website includes an after-school activities guide, information on Audubon summer camps for children (with scholarships available from Wild Birds Unlimited), a “Just for Kids” page with activities about birds and other animals, Tips for Bringing Nature to the Classroom, and Tips for Teaching Outdoors. National Audubon also offers an intensive 6-day program of bird study for teens at Hog Island in Maine.

  3. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a unit of Cornell University, provides materials to “advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet.”  The Lab offers workshops for teachers and a Home Study Course in Bird Biology.  Its Macaulay Library sound and video archive includes more than 175,000 audio and 60,000 video recordings of birds and other animals.  K-12 educational programs include: (1) Bird Sleuth: Students observe birds, conduct investigations, and can publish their research in Classroom BirdScope.  (2) Crossing Boundaries: Students learn science and explore career possibilities through “technology-enhanced exploration of biodiversity conservation issues.”  (3) Celebrate Urban Birds: Students and community organizations observe birds and file reports to assess the value of green spaces for birds.

  4. Environment for the Americas is a non-profit organization that “provides information and materials about birds, bird conservation, and bird education from Canada to South America.”  Their signature program is the International Migratory Bird Day.  Educational resources include a database of bird-related teaching materials, a 4-day training course called Connecting People with Nature through Birds, virtual field trips, a Bird IQ test, a video on “Birding Basics for Kids,” and an online forum for educators.

  5. The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field.

  6. The American Birding Association “provides leadership to birders by increasing their knowledge, skills, and enjoyment of birding.”  Its Young Birders programs include camps for teen birders, scholarships for birding camps and other events, an ABA Tropicbirds youth birding team that participates in “big day” competitions, and opportunities to participate in conservation projects such as Birder’s Exchange.

  7. The Fledging Birders Institute aims to bring the “joy and benefits of bird