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Faith In Action: Audubon Bird Count — Long-term (60 minutes), Session 4: Animal Homes

In "Creating Home," a Tapestry of Faith program

Preparation for Activity

  • Go to the National Audubon Society website to learn about the century-old Christmas Bird Count that takes place each year between December 14 and January 5.
  • Contact the National Audubon Society via the website or by phone to find a local Christmas Bird Count that the Creating Home group can join as volunteer bird watchers.
  • Contact the local organizer of the bird count to make specific plans for the group to participate.
  • Generate and distribute a permission form for the children to travel to the bird count location and participate in the activity.
  • Recruit parents or other adult congregants to join in the bird count and/or to help with transportation.

Description of Activity

Children are learning that wild animals build their own homes for specific functions. Involving your group in a local bird count sponsored by the Audubon Society engages participants more deeply in bird “lifestyles” and habitats, while reinforcing the Unitarian Universalist principle of caring for our Earth

Each year, the National Audubon Society conducts a national Christmas Bird Count. This bird count is done at different times across the United States in the last month of the year. The bird count helps Audubon Society keep track of where bird populations are changing and where research needs to focus.

To find out when and where near your congregation the next bird count will be, go to the Audubon Society website http://www.audubon.org and do a search for “bird count.

Children are usually welcomed on the bird count, as long as enough adults accompany them. Your local Audubon Society may have specific rules about children.

Instead of or in addition to attending a bird count, the group may be able to help your local Audubon Society promote the Christmas Bird Count. The children could make posters to display or flyers to distribute about the bird count.

FAITH IN ACTION: COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE—SHORT-TERM (60 MINUTES)

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITY

  • Sheets of 11X17-inch paper.

PREPARATION FOR ACTIVITY

  • Visit one or more websites about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) by doing a web search or using the links provided under “Leader Resources” in the Resources section. Look for information that will help you explain to children the principles of CSA and how its approaches protect the health of our food and the welfare of farm animals used for food.

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITY

To explore the responsibilities and choices humans have in co-creating farm animal homes, guide children to explore Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Use this website to learn more about Community Supported Agriculture. Explore why it is important for the health and safety of our food, both vegetable and animal. To simplify children’s learning, pick one kind of animal such as chicken or dairy cow. Learn about how that animal is housed and cared for in accordance with the principles of CSA.

Most states have some form of CSA. Although Community Supported Agriculture began in Japan, it has spread across England and into the United States. Community Supported Agriculture is based on buying shares into small and usually organic farming businesses. Once shares, or partial shares, are purchased, the community member picks up their “share” of the produce, meat or honey. There are usually central pick up centers. Websites with more information about CSA are listed in the Resources section under “Leader Resources.”

Aid children in making posters to educate others in the faith home about CSA. Help the group think of taglines that explain CSA and why it is important, such as “Nourish Your Body with Healthy Food” or “Community Supported Agriculture Helps Us All." Write these taglines on a black board, white board, or posted newsprint and invite children to copy the words for their posters. Children can draw or cut pictures out of gardening or animal magazines to decorate their posters. Display the posters on a social action bulletin board or in the entry of the worship center.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.

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