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Vote a bird!

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By Ros Patchingeducation projects manager at the RSPB

Deciding on a bird to be the symbol for the school

You will need

The ‘Birds of the world poster’; voting slips; a copy of the ‘Birds of the world’ sheet.

What to do

Together with the class, look at an enlarged copy of the ‘Birds of the world’ sheet and recap why people might choose a bird as a symbol for their country (see the ‘Around the world’ activity). Ask the children to think about their own school and local area. What bird might they pick to represent their own town or school?

If you have already been on a walk to observe and listen to local birds, remind the children of the examples that you managed to see or hear. Use the giant poster to help with identification of the various species. Scribe a list of the birds that children have seen or know about in their local area.

Look at your list of local birds and explain that the children are going to vote for their favourite to be the school/local symbol. If you wish, you could assign each bird a ‘champion’ – a child who will present to the class a reason why their bird deserves to win. For example: It has a lovely song that makes me feel happy. It is very pretty and brightens up winter. It comes right up to the classroom window. Vote Robin!

Once the votes have been cast and counted and the selection made, get the children to start work on writing and artwork that celebrates their choice, either for display in class or for presentation to the rest of the school as part of an assembly.


Ask the children to paint or draw an imaginary bird to be their school mascot. Use the giant poster and the ‘Birds of the world’ sheet as an inspiration for ideas and colours.