Each student will create their own bird feeder, but we suggest students work in pairs to share ideas. Homeschool students can work on their own.
Plan Your Time
Part 1 (designing a bird feeder) takes 15 to 20 minutes. Part 2 (building the prototype) can take up to 30 minutes.
You may want to divide this lesson into two sessions, stopping after Part 1 and continuing with Part 2 at a later point. If you plan to do the activity in two sessions, building the bird feeder begins at Step 7.
Check the Recycling Bin
We encourage you to raid your recycling bin for building supplies. You can use materials you find there to substitute or supplement our list of supplies.
Prepare Aluminum Foil and Dot Stickers
Tear aluminum foil into 6” squares so that you have enough for each student.
We suggest providing each student with 8 dot stickers. You can divide these up before class for easier distribution.
Buy Some Bird Seed (Optional)
If you would like to add bird seed to students’ prototype feeders, you'll need to buy a bag. Be warned: spilled bird seed can be messy. Student prototype bird feeders may not be sturdy enough to actually put outside and use.
Engineering Teacher Tip
We created the Bird Feeder Inspiration printout for students who may be stumped or frustrated by the task of making a bird feeder. We suggest letting students first try to come up with ideas on their own, providing these Inspiration printouts only to those who need extra guidance.