Second Graders Create Bird Habitat Outside Classroom Windows

By Christine Payack

Bird Watching

It was subtle at first.
“I think I saw a bird!”
I was sure I heard a child chirp,
as he fluttered to the classroom windows.

Do my eyes and ears deceive me?
A flock of children swoop swiftly by.
I blink as other fledglings fly
toward the window panes, too.

Papers swirl and scatter on my desk.
I pick up children’s work
proudly signed
in printed perching tracks.

As sunlight shadows lengthen,
children roost in a corner of the room.
They preen their feathers and cock their heads,
softly cooing a crepuscular call.

I turn off the lights,
quietly close the door
and join them.

The view outside Chris Payack’s second grade classroom windows.

Christine (Chris) Payack wrote the poem “Bird Watching” in Spring 2011. The catalyst for the poem is the view of the bird habitat Chris and her second grade students created outside their classroom windows.  Chris says, “We raised funds selling kid-made migratory and resident bird ornaments to purchase our feeders, viburnum bush, and bird bath. We also tackled strong school resistance to keep the lawn a static mono culture.”

Chris is a June 2011 ARMN graduate. She taught at Fairhill Elementary School in Fairfax but will be teaching at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington beginning September 2012.

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