Thank you for taking the opportunity to help educate your students about avian conservation! At Bird Safe Guelph, we believe that we can make a meaningful impact to help protect wildlife, and that education is one of the best ways to achieve this goal.
Across the world we are witnessing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity, with an estimated 711 vertebrate species going extinct in the last 500 years1, a rate that is 1,000 times faster than the background rate of extinction2. Currently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has found that 28% of all species assessed are currently threatened with extinction3 This recent loss in biodiversity has now been recognized as our planet’s sixth major extinction event, the Anthropocene Extinction, which is being directly caused by human impacts on the environment4. While we may be the cause of this crisis, we also have the power to make things better, and everyone can take part in this positive change!
One way that Bird Safe Guelph aims to help in making these positive changes is through education. We designed the Bird Safe Guelph Schools program to be accessible to any educators across a wide range of ages, mixing traditional classroom learning with hands-on active learning to foster both excitement about the natural world and engagement in conservation. We offer online packages that educators can download for free, including both a suggested classroom presentation and associated lesson plan in English and French. While currently only offered in English, we are more than happy to provide in-person classroom presentations to classes within the Guelph area at three different age groups:
Our K-2 package is designed to introduce your students to the exciting world of avian biodiversity. Engaging them with their own experiences surrounding the world of birds and providing them with interactive classroom activities and resources that will get them excited about the natural world. Click HERE for our grades K-2 package.
Our grades 3-4 package expands on what is presented in the K-2 package, introducing students to the current conservation challenges that we are facing in preserving avian biodiversity. Though active learning, interactive classroom participation, and at-home exercises, this package is designed to highlight how your students can help make a positive difference. Click HERE for our grades 3-4 package.
Our grades 5-6 package provides an overview of avian biodiversity and its importance, along with an in-depth exploration of the current conservation challenges birds are facing. This presentation incorporates resources from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to introduce students to the impacts of window collisions, artificial lights at night, and invasive species on avian biodiversity. As with the 3-4 package, the main aim of this package is to demonstrate to students how they can make a positive difference and save birds wherever they are. Click HERE for our grades 5-6 package.
We have some additional resources available to further engage your students with birds, including colouring pages from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and a Backyard Birds Bingo game. Click HERE for our resources page.
- De Vos JM, Joppa LN, Gittleman JL, Stephens PR, Pimm SL. Estimating the normal background rate of species extinction. Conserv Biol. 2015 Apr;29(2):452-62. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12380. Epub 2014 Aug 26. PMID: 25159086.
- Otto, S. P. (2018). Adaptation, speciation and extinction in the Anthropocene. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285(1891), 20182047.