The 7th and 8th Grade students have been practicing reading, writing, research, and other academic skills through studying birds throughout the year. At the ODC, they learned about birds of prey by visiting their exhibit and watching a raptor demonstration done by an expert at the Outdoor Discovery Center. Each of them then studied one of the species of birds from the ODC and wrote a research paper about it.  After getting to know their species, they designed and created an enrichment toy for their bird. Like house cats, birds of prey in captivity need toys to simulate hunting prey for exercise (they are as lazy as cats).  Next, the students worked on an oral report to present their design to our friends at the ODC. Currently, the students are finishing up  building songbird boxes. Each student had to select a species of songbird, and research a birdhouse design. They then constructed their birdhouse. The next step is to find an appropriate place in our playground area to hang each students house. The students will research appropriate height and other factors to determine their birdhouse location. We will then observe different species of birds’ activity and use it as inspiration for writing assignments and further research.