The Week of the Birds


An environmental education curriculum for children between 9 and 12 years of age

Status: In progress


A central theme of SELVA’s work consists of promoting a positive environment for biodiversity conservation.  We achieve this through training and environmental education activities in the areas where we operate. Within the project ‘Crossing the Caribbean’, SELVA has designed an education curriculum with a series of activities for fourth and fifth graders called “The Week of the Birds”. Through a series of workshops and observing birds in their natural environment, children learn about these organisms and diverse aspects of their biology and ecology.

The Week of the Birds is divided into five activities, one for every day of the week. Each activity has a duration of one or two hours, although this can vary according to any additions or extensions that teachers include. Every activity has an instruction card for the teacher that contains information on the objectives, required materials and the exact procedure to carry out the activity. This way teachers can prepare in advance and learn what the applicability of the activities are in terms of the requirements set by ‘education standards’. Our activities include workshops in the classroom and outside and they combine knowledge applied to science, geography, language, maths, arts and physical education, among others.

Key findings and achievements

  • Five education activities designed and ready to be used by any school in the Neotropics.
  • The Week of the Birds launched in three rural schools in Colombia: two in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and one in Sapzurro, Chocó.
  • 8 teachers trained and with the tools and materials to carry out the Week of the Birds indefinitely.
  • Materials from The Week of the Birds available for download and public use.
Photo Gallery


Crossing the Caribbean Blog:
Documents to download

Activity instruction cards (in spanish)

  1. How to use this card PDF
  2. Activity 1: Just like birds PDF
  3. Activity 2: Design your bird PDF
  4. Activity 3: Getting ready to migrate PDF
  5. Activity 4: Crossing the the Caribbean PDF
  6. Activity 5: Bird researchers PDF
Materials for each activity (in spanish)
  • Station cards – Just like birds PDF
  • Answer sheet – Just like birds PDF
  • Factor cards – Getting ready to migrate PDF
  • Observation race cards – Crossing the Caribbean PDF
  • Worksheet – Crossing the Caribbean PDF
  • Migraton route map PDF
  • Images – coffee grains and species for observation race PDF


Santamaría, N. & C. Gómez (2011) La Semana de Las Aves: Currículo de educación ambiental de SELVA para cuarto y quinto de primaria. Informe de la primera implementación en tres escuelas rurales del norte de Colombia No. EA01. PDF

The design and first implementation of The Week of the Birds was funded by The Rufford Small Grants Foundation.

We are currently seeking funds to expand the curriculum and implement it in more schools. If you would like to support our work please contact Natalia Santamaria:

Project Staff:
Project director – Natalia Sanz de Santamaria
Field Educator – Camila Gomez M