On the morning of Feb. 2, 2022, an email arrived in my inbox from Lisa Apovian, a local grade school teacher in the Lawrence Public School system. She had participated in a recent online program on the Winter Crow Roost hosted by the Merrimack River Watershed Council. Lisa requested a presentation about the local Winter Crow Roost for young students during a special student program during vacation week. Here is her outreach email:
Good Morning! I was one of your attendees for the Crow Show! It was fabulous, and I learned so much! I teach grade 3 in Lawrence (Parthum Elementary) and over February Vacation (Feb. 21- 25), I and 2 colleagues will be teaching a unit on crows – more specifically, how can an understanding of crows help us connect to the people of Lawrence. We have designed our unit to include the study of crows as well as the history of Lawrence and the Merrimack River. We are so excited to teach this unit and would love to have someone from your organization come to our school (or via zoom) to talk to the students about crows – something similar to the zoom you did. Would this be possible? We are pretty flexible to the date and time – school hours that week will be 8 to 3. It is a special vacation week program for students. They love it because we can do special projects! There will be 36 third graders attending. Many thanks, Lisa
Our week long objective: How can an understanding of crows help us connect to the people of Lawrence. We will first introduce the students to crows. Students will learn about the physical and behavioral characteristics, diet and migration habits. We will have a discussion of the City of Lawrence including the Merrimack River, mills, changes over time. Then we will bring the discussion of immigration and why people came to the United States, then Massachusetts, and finally Lawrence. Students will draw conclusions and opinion as to why both crows and people came to the City, and why they stayed.
The students did an amazing job, were engaged and ready to learn!
These young students, just third graders, were amazing. Their excitement and enthusiasm for the Crows was remarkable. They had studied all the Crow basics, lots of background on the winter communal roost phenomenon, breeding and migration cycles and timing, foraging and diet patterns, habitat and nesting details, identification basics, behavior and vocalizations, and so much more. The teachers had done a thorough job, and it was a pure delight to share, listen, and learn!