A blue jay built a nest in a Camilla tree outside our class window. Recently we heard the chirping of small birds. We've been keeping our eyes and ears open for any new activity. Today we were rewarded with a view of beautiful baby birds that are fatter and almost as big as the momma jay. They are grey and still have some down, but mostly feathers. They ventured out of their nest and hopped from branch to branch. The momma jay made several trips with a beak filled with wiggly worms and centipedes for her three babies. We watched the spectacle for almost an hour. Then the rain came pouring down, all the babies scurried back into the nest and the momma jay hurried home to keep her babies safe and warm.
We watched for almost an hour. I wondered how many children get an uninterrupted hour to observe something other than a t.v. show. I wondered if the children at Ivy League-West would remember this day for years to come. I wondered what they learned.
This I know:
They were enthralled and excited. They held their breaths as the babies hopped from branch to branch. They made predictions as to when the babies would venture a flight. The guessed how many trips the momma would make to fed her young. They were quiet and talkative. They never once took their eyes off the nest. They were not interrupted by ringing bells. They were not asked to write or report. In fact they were not even asked to observe. All they did or did not do was through their own initiative and interest. As they left for the day, each and every one stopped by the window and said goodbye to the baby birds. Each one talked about tomorrow. "Maybe tomorrow they'll fly."