While science is an integral part of the Montessori classroom every day, the Kindergarteners also enjoy time for big, hands-on experiments. This week they explored the topic of adaptation. The question, “How do we know what food dinosaurs ate?” opened a discussion about available food and teeth. As expected, they knew a lot about carnivores like T-Rex and herbivores like Brachiosaurus, but were very interested in checking out sharks’ teeth to compare with their own!
What about birds? They do not have teeth. They have beaks. How do beaks help birds survive in their environments? The Kindergarteners enthusiastically explored four different ecosystems to discover how beaks are like tools for finding and eating food.
Their assignment was to test and choose the tools best suited to finding food in each of the four environments-- river/pond, desert, grassland, and flower garden/forest.
Results: Beaks are an important adaptation! Beaks can stab fish, peck and crack seeds, strain aquatic creatures, crush large seeds, tear flesh, and suck nectar to help birds find the food they need to survive. Some birds eat only one kind of food; others have variety in their diets. Now a little more curious, the Kindergarteners plan to observe birds in their own backyards to check out beaks in action!