by John Frassinelli
Having first seen a “drinking bird” in elementary school myself, I had never forgotten it. Our teacher, I think, had placed one on the windowsill. We had no air conditioning in those days, and the windows actually opened! Air circulated through the room, and that probably influenced the bird. I think it’s too bad that many classrooms are hermetically sealed these days, but we do what we can.
Recently I decided to introduce my first graders to my old friend, the Drinking Bird. I bought a few birds and fooled around with them, making sure each one would “drink” as it was supposed to. I learned that some birds need a bit of adjustment—their centers of mass might be too high or too low. But this is easily remedied by gently twisting the bird’s body and raising (or lowering) it on its metal clasp.