Educational Resources - Discover Birds Program

Discover Birds Logo

Inspired by the Discover Birds Activity Book and a desire to give classroom students and their teachers a lasting introduction to birds, the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society initiated the donation of books to area classrooms and added guided “bird walks” to introduce students to birds.

From this simple idea, the Discover Birds Program developed.  Along with donating books to classrooms (all of the students in a single grade level), a team of volunteers visits the school to present a three-part program about birds.  On a rotating schedule, students experience a slide show presentation of Tennessee birds and their songs; enjoy a show-and-tell treasure chest of bird related items, including talons, feathers and nests; and learn to identify the birds in their school yard through guided bird walks with close-up views of birds through birding telescopes.

Students get to see the color of a bird’s beaks, the color of their eyes, and sometimes get to view birds incubating eggs on the nest, all without disturbing the bird. 

During the 2012-2013 school year, the Discover Birds Program reached nearly 400 students in the East Tennessee area. Here is what one teacher had to say after the program visited her school:

   “…thanks so much for all your efforts. I still  have students stop me in the hall and tell me that they have put a bird feeder up for the first time, or they have seen a bird that you all introduced them to.  You’ve changed lives, and thank you for that. Please come back to our school.”

Discover Birds students

For more information about this program, how to arrange a Discover Birds visit to your school, or how to become a Discover Birds volunteer, contact the Knoxville chapter of TOS at  

You may also enjoy visiting the Discover Birds Blog to see photos and descriptions of recent school visits and student activities. 

Students looking through scope Discover Birds Book Cover

Discover Birds Activity Book

Sponsored by the Tennessee Ornithological Society and written and illustrated by Vickie Henderson, the thirty-six page Discover Birds Activity Book is designed to inspire the student’s curiosity and creativity while presenting facts about birds that make them unique among all wildlife.

Initially requested by teachers and created as a student activity for the 2012 Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival, the activity book was expanded and into its third printing by early 2013. Within a year, more than 2000 books had been distributed around the state by TOS members who donated the books to teacher classrooms. The activity book was also introduced to community organizations and distributed through local environmental education and science programs.

Activities in the book have been contributed by educators from The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, and other Tennessee naturalists and educators. The book includes illustrations to color and activities, including word search, word scramble, draw-a-nest, matching, message decoding, crossword and others. A vocabulary list is provided along with a list of books for young readers, and a list of websites for more information about birds and related activities. Created at the third grade level, the book is appropriate for grades two through six.

The complete activity book and individual pages are available in PDF format at the links below. To purchase printed copies of the book, contact Cyndi Routledge at A curriculum guide is also available at the link below.

Complete book

Cover, inside front cover
Page 1 – Introduction
Pages 2-3 – It’s A Bird
Page 4 – Feathers
Page 5-7 – Beaks and Feet
Page 8-9 – A Bird’s Life Cycle
Page 10-11 – Nests
Page 12 – Backyard Bird Habitat
Page 13 – Predator Word Scramble
Pages 14-17- Winter Survival

Curriculum Guide

Libro completo (en Español)

Page 18 – Migration
Page 19 – Migration Mad Lib
Page 20 – Word Search
Page 21 – Conservation
Page 22-23 – Sandhill Cranes
Page 24- 27 – Changing Populations
Page 28-29 – Bird Champions
Page 30 – Crossword
Page 31 – Discovery Notebook and Reading
Page 32 – Resources and Answer Keys
Back cover, inside back cover



About Us

Birding in Tennessee


TN Bird Records Committee


Contact Us


TOS Logo