This is a HUGE question to answer in such a short time, so we started off with some smaller ones.
My friend Dan Green who studied bird ecology in the United States kindly made a short video with an overview about birds and their environment. This video served as a provocation in two ways: 1) the sound quality was not that great because it had been recorded on a telephone and 2) it encouraged the students to ask more questions from Dan.
After watching the video student had a day to think about what other questions they had about birds for an expert.
The next class period, we compiled all of our questions into a word document and sent them to Dan hoping that he could help us with some answers.
While we waited for him to respond, we made our own investigations into stories about different animals. We learned that not only can we learn about animals but we have a lot of lessons we can learn from animals as well!
With the second grade, we started learning about a type of story called a Fable. We learned that fables usually have animals that talk and learn an important lesson. After reading a few fables and guessing the moral, we recreated our own versions of the fables we heard and tried to explain the lessons each animal in the fable learns.
So far we have learned stories of animals from our trip to the Estonian Agricultural Museum for Vastlapäev (Fat Tuesday) where we learned how traditional clothing is made, saw all of the games that can be made with pigs bones, and ate pancakes! We also played pin the tail on the pig and the instructor had the class teacher (me) draw the pig!
We have also used our theme from last time (How we express ourselves) and applied it to the current theme using the story of the Sad Blue Bunny. First we started off brainstorming all of the words we know that start with B. Then we had a story ordering activity. And finally we had to make our own stories by drawing one picture then passing to the next student to continue the story. When we were finished we saw how many different stories we had created!
Using these experiences, the students have worked very hard to draw their own version of the fable we learned about the first week and write a story to go with it. Now we just have to make our own presentation to show the world!