Saturday, December 13, 2008

Barrett Students Visit Whooping Crane Display

After school this week, two Barrett families went to see the ultralight aircraft and whooping crane display at the Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Museum.  The students impressed one of the museum guards with all their knowledge about the whooping cranes and the ultralight. If you would like to visit the museum,  please check out my previous blog entry for directions and hours of operation.






a quickr pickr post

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big Whoop Part 4

Do you know how the whooping crane migrates? Watch this episode and learn!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Taylor's Birthday Present - Flying with the Cranes

In the Discovery Lab this week we learned about Father Goose (see previous blog entry), we checked on the current migration of "our" whooping cranes, we made models of ultralights and whooping cranes flying in the sky, read books about migration, and watched a video clip of a journalist flying with the cranes.

We read the online story of Taylor's 10th birthday present of flying with the whooping cranes!  Then each student put a photo of himself/herself in an ultralight glider and we went on a pretend migration around the school.  I'd love to fly with the whooping cranes for real on my next birthday!

Following the Migration on the Map
Following the Migration on the Map

Migrating from Wisconsin to Florida (Actually from the Discovery Lab to the Classroom, taking the long route around the School)
Migrating from Wisconsin to Florida (Actually from the Discovery Lab to the Classroom, taking the long route around the School)

Video clip of Journalist Flying with the Cranes
Video clip of Journalist Flying with the Cranes

Kindergarteners pretend to Fly with the Cranes in an Ultralight
Kindergarteners pretend to Fly with the Cranes in an Ultralight

Reading about Migration
Reading about Migration

Learning about the Migration Experiment of Father Goose
Learning about the Migration Experiment of Father Goose


Reading about Whooping Cranes
Reading about Whooping Cranes


Placing the Whooping Cranes in the Sky


Taylor's 10th Birthday Present was to Fly with the Cranes
Taylor's 10th Birthday Present was to Fly with the Cranes

Ready for our Migration
Ready for our Migration

a quickr pickr post

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Father Goose

In the Discovery Lab this week we discussed Bill Lishman's experiment of leading Canada Geese on a migration to Virginia. Lishman, known as Father Goose, and his daughter raised the geese and used an ultralight aircraft to show them the migration route. After the experiment was a success, Operation Migration decided to use this technique with the endangered whooping cranes.

Below are a two video clips related to Father Goose and the movie Fly Away Home. The videos won't play on our school network, but work fine at home.

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport

I recommend a visit to see the ultralight aircraft that is on display at the Udvar-Hazy musuem. It is the actual ultralight that led one of the whooping crane migrations and was featured in the movie Fly Away Home.

It would be great if you took a photo of your child in front of the ultralight and emailed it to me to post on Barrett's Project Discovery Website. My email address is

From Washington, D.C., and points south: I-66 West to Route 28 North (Exit 53B): Travel on Route 28 North for 5.3 miles. Exit at Air and Space Museum Parkway and follow the signs to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Directions to Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Museum

Admission to the museum is free. Please note that a parking fee of $12.00 applies until 4pm. On my last visit to the museum I arrived a little after 4:00 and stayed until closing (5:30) so the entire outing was free.

Museum hours are 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Open every day except December 25.

Photos of Barrett students with the ultralight trike:

Ultralight at work:
Ultralight on the Ground
Ultralight in Flight

Ultralight models in the Discovery Lab:
Kindergarteners pretend to Fly with the Cranes in an Ultralight

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big Whoop Part 3

Two Students from Ms. Torres' class explain the Whooping Crane Necklace in English and Spanish!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Speaker from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Endangered Species Division

Mrs. Green is a wildlife biologist with the United States Fish and Wildlife. She spent most of the day at Barrett presenting to Kindergarten and Fourth grade students. Mrs. Green showed how biologists attach radio transmitters to animals to learn more about them. This information helps the biologists protect the endangered species. She explained that what she learned in school is very important to her job. She must read scientific articles and write reports. She also has to keep notes when she is out in the field. Mrs. Green showed us items that had been made from endangered species that had been taken away from people. Mrs. Green brought bookmarks, stickers, and temporary tatoos for the students. Thanks Mrs. Green!

Career Week - Nancy Green Fish and Wildlife, Endangered Species Division

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guest Speaker from Patuxent Research Refuge

Today Mr. Dennis Hartnett presented to our four Kindergarten classes and two fourth grade classes. Mr. Hartnett works at Patuxent in Maryland where the whooping crane chicks are hatched. We learned about this endangered species and what people are doing to keep this bird from becoming extinct. Maybe your future career will be related to protecting endangered species!
You may click the photo below to enlarge it.
Whooping Crane Career Week Dennis Hartnett Patuxent  K, 4th

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Student Sharing

One of our students shared that he visited the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum out near the Dulles airport and saw an Ultralight aircraft. It is the actual ultralight used by Operation Migration on one of the whooping crane migrations!

Another student shared a book he read at home about endangered animals. He noticed that one of the animals in the book is the whooping crane. To learn more about the two flocks of whooping cranes, read the online storybooks about the Western Flock and the Eastern Flock. We are following the migration of the Eastern flock.

It was fun that students from New Jersey sent Flat Stanley to Barrett Elementary. While Stanley was here, he learned about the whooping crane migration.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Crane Reports from the Barrett TV Studio

On October 17th we posted our first Tiger TV and Internet show BIG WHOOP. We posted our second BIG WHOOP show on November 7th. We plan to post several other BIG WHOOP shows in the coming weeks.

We thought you might enjoy the slideshow below showing the behind the scenes in the Barrett TV Studio with Mrs. Shaw and Mr. Delventhal.

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Whooping Crane Migration Skit Featuring Flat Stanley

We were thrilled when Flat Stanley from New Jersey visited Barrett on the day the Kindergarteners were acting in the Whooping Crane Migration Skit. Look for Flat Stanley in several frames in the video below.

Photographs from Heather Ray of Operation Migration

Heather Ray from Operation Migration is traveling with the whooping cranes on the migration from Wisconsin to Florida. Ms. Ray has been following the activities of the Barrett Kindergarteners and sent the photos below to the students. Enjoy!

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Counting and Patterns with the Whooping Crane Necklace

Some of the words and parts of the photos were cut off in the post below. To see the original post with complete pictures, please visit the Project Discovery Blog.

Blue Green Blue Green Speechable - Do your photos have something to say?

Counting Speechable - Do your photos have something to say?

Kindergarten students practiced counting by fives and making patterns as they created necklaces. The necklaces were created with student-made beads to represent the whooping crane life cycle and the people who help the whooping cranes. The students also used blue and green store-bought beads to make patterns. Can you count the beads and read the pattern?
Speechable - Do your photos have something to say?

I recommend FIREFOX browser to view the slideshow below. Internet Explorer does not show the slideshow on my computer. Click on any photo to pause the slideshow.

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Whooping Crane Life Cycle

egg  chick  Adult  Flying

We had such a marvelous time learning about the whooping crane life cycle and making whooping crane necklaces. Thanks to everyone for helping out on this project! Mrs. Shaw from Project Interaction/Communication Arts cut the clay pieces. She also helped the students learn how to make beads from clay. Thanks to the Friday Volunteers and Barrett parents for preparing the chick and adult medallions for the center of the necklace and cutting the cords. It was great that many people popped in to the Discovery Lab to help with the project; our principal Mrs. Bratt, assistant principal Mrs. Smingler, and many Barrett teachers and parents and even grandparents!


We appreciate Karen Sonnenblick from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for photos and information that helped us build our life-sized models of the egg, chick, juvenile, and adult whooping crane. We are so lucky to have an artist/educator/bird-lover working at Barrett who was willing to create the models. Hats off to our talented Melissa Poore!


The first video below shows the students learning about the whooping crane life cycle and the actual size of the whooping crane. You can see the students holding out their arms to make a prediction of how big the whooping crane actually is. The life-sized model was hiding behind a curtain. The students were surprised when they saw how large the crane actually is (5 feet tall, wing span about 7 feet). Later, each child had a photo taken with the whooping crane. The video includes art work by Vicky Henderson, who has given us permission to post her work. You may see her paintings and photographs of the whooping cranes at


The video also highlights two students recording our first BIG WHOOP show in the Barrett Communication Arts TV Studio. There are photos of the students watching the show the following day on Tiger TV, the daily Barrett news show. Special thanks to our Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC) Fred Delventhal for hosting the show.


We also started the Kindergarten Whooping Word Wall. Can you guess which words we chose for the wall? Watch the video to find out!


The second video shows us preparing the materials for the whooping crane necklaces and the students making the beads and necklaces.

Photos from the Animoto videos may be viewed as a slideshow or downloaded from Mrs. Sullivan’s Picasa Web Album You can watch the BIG WHOOP show at on October 17, 2008)


To follow the whooping crane migration, which is occurring right now, go to

Kindergarten Flips

Kindergarteners cut and sort photographs to create a Flipbook about Whooping Cranes. You can read an interesting story online about the endangered whooping cranes. Click here to read the story.










a quickr pickr post

Whooping Word Wall

Whooping Crane Word Wall
Watch the video below to learn about the first words posted on the Kindergarten Whooping Word Wall (WWW). We will be posting more words as we discover more about the whooping cranes. After the last lesson in the Discovery Lab, children suggested we add the words Florida, Wisconsin, Ultralight, People (who help), and Whooping Crane. Do you know why they suggested these words? Check out this true online storybook




a quickr pickr post

From Wisconsin to Florida

Originally uploaded by BarrettDiscovery
The whooping cranes are taught to migrate from Wisconsin to Florida. People (wearing costumes) show the cranes the way by flying Ultralight aircraft. We are following the current migration and have discovered that the weather is affecting the migration. You can follow the daily migration at

Crane Scientists

Originally uploaded by BarrettDiscovery
The whooping crane handlers and scientists at Patuxent teach the chicks to eat using a puppet that looks like a whooping crane.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Big Whoop

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Whooping Crane Handler Costumes

Mrs. Steele, mother of K teacher Mrs. Golden, made eight whooping crane researcher costumes for the students to wear this year as they learn about the cranes. Thanks Mrs. Steele!! We are impressed!!