Don’t go into the classroom, library or scout meeting empty handed. Spice up your talk with a visual arsenal to keep young minds engaged in your presentation. Follow this classroom checklist before you head out:
1) Your parrots: There is nothing better to drive home your message than a sweet, affectionate, entertaining pet bird. If possible, take multiple parrots representing various species or various parts of the world.
Always consider the risks of taking your pet birds out in public. Are your pet birds people-friendly, comfortable in new surroundings and properly restrained to prevent accidental escapes? Are they vet-checked to ensure they are healthy?
2) Clean stands/perches for pet birds: It helps if these are mobile and collapsible.
3) Food and water for the pet birds: Incorporate these items into your presentation. Ask a student to attempt cracking a brazil nut with a hand-held nutcracker and make a point of how difficult it was. Then allow a large parrot to crack the nut. This is an opportunity to talk about diet and anatomy (the beak, etc). Pass around baggies of various foods, including seed, nuts, pellets, fruits and veggies.
4) A globe or map: This is a good visual aid to point out where parrots are native to. It can illustrate why it is important to protect these environments.
5) A collection of molted feathers: Discuss the various aspects and functions of feathers and leave some for the class to use or donate them to the art department.
6) Bird magazines: If there are enough magazines available, leave some for the class or the school library.
7) Cleaning supplies: Don’t leave a bird mess behind. Paper towels and cleaning solutions that are safe for use around birds make cleanup easy.
Check out presentation tips here.