Living things & the processes of life - Interaction of living things with their environment -  Looking after living things - G5
This is the Teacher's Guide for this targetThis is the Teacher's Guide for this targetTeacher's Guide


1. It can be difficult to find insects or minibeasts feeding on trees and shrubs when out walking but if some of the ideas from previously are used and minibeasts kept in the classroom for a few days, the children should get a chance to see them feeding. Snails are quite a good choice for this and are easily seen if they are largish specimens.

Note: All living things, including small animals should be put back where they where collected after use in the classroom. Pupils should be encouraged to view living things as a resource which must be afforded dignity and remain as unaffected by their use as possible!

3. If your school has a nature area or bird table, you may be able to show the children species such as robins, bluetits, coal tits, greenfinches, chaffinches and sparrows. Blackbirds do not come to bird tables but may be seen darting in and out of bushes at ground level and can be attracted by putting out ripe fruit on the ground.

To encourage the birds to come down you can make bird cake very simply with the children although you may need to do this at a time when you have assistance in the classroom.

If you do not have access to a bird table for your class then it may be possible to watch birds such as gulls, pigeons and sparrows coming down to feed off the crumbs after break-time. Although these are not such charming species as the garden varieties they are plentiful and would demonstrate the point of this lesson.

To make birdcake

Large pack of lard; wild bird seed; any stale biscuits, cake, bread, crackers etc you can muster ; small pieces of chopped apple; oatmeal or breakfast cereal ; peanuts.

If you are making the cake to hang from trees or a bird table you will need yoghourt cartons, string and small pieces of stick or drinking straws. Make a hole in the bottom of the carton and thread the string through and tie it around the small piece of straw so that the carton can be hung upside down for the birds to peck into.

Margarine tubs are best if you simply want to put the birdcake out on the bird table.

Warm the lard gently in a saucepan until it is just liquid.

Allow the children to choose the mixture of ingredients for their tub if they are making individual ones or to each put a handful of something into a large basin if you are making a class effort. When the tubs are 3/4 full, pour over the liquid lard. When cooled, check that the mixture has set the ingredients in place. If not pour another layer of fat over the mixture.

* Remember there is a hole in the bottom so put the full cartons onto an old tray before pouring fat over.

See North East Scotland Biodiversity Website - making your own birdcake