Elementary Bird Lessons
activity exercisesuggested grade levels:4- 6
view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Birds are a fascinating group of animals to study. Although they are not the only species of animals than can fly, they are known for their aerial acrobatics. Students should be encouraged to become familiar with the Digital Atlas by exploring its different parts. Teachers should review characteristics of birds (feathers, beaks, lay eggs, build nests, keeled breastbone, migration, wings, etc) with their class as a start for this exercise.

1. Students will learn how to use the Bird section of the Digital Atlas.
2. Students will be able to distinguish birds from other classes of organisms.
3. Students will become knowledgeable about their favorite bird. They will write a report on their species.
4. Students will draw their bird and give a "show and tell" presentation to the class about their species.

Use the bird section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho to familiarize yourself with some basic information about birds. To get there: Click on Atlas Home, then on Biology, then on Birds.

1. Review characteristics of birds. A classroom pet bird could be very helpful. Answer the following questions as a class.
   a. What makes a snake different from a bird?
   b. What makes a rat different from a bird?
   c. What makes a fish different from a bird?
   d. What makes a frog different from a bird?
   e. What kinds of things do birds eat?
   f. Do different bird species eat different things? If you compare a robin's beak with a hawk's beak does it help you understand what they eat?
   g. What kinds of habitats do birds live in?
   h. Do all birds fly?
   i. How does flying help them live?

2. Tell your students to select a bird. You may want to have them tell you their choice so you can guide them away from all choosing the same species. Encourage your students to use the bird section of the Digital Atlas to find information on their bird. Give your students class time for research. Help them with the Digital Atlas. Reports should include a description of their bird, its diet, the habitat it uses, and its basic biology. The length of the written report should be assigned to match grade level.

3. Students will draw a picture of their bird and give a "show and tell" presentation on their species.

Handouts/Activity links:
These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.

Related Lesson Topics:
Biology: Birds
Biology: Biology Topics

Lesson plan by James Scannell and Stefan Sommer, 2001
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: