Lesson Plan

Fly Away! (Exploring Migration)

A golden eagle about to take flight from a rocky slope
Take flight with the golden eagles of Denali
NPS Photo / Kent Miller

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
Subject:
Biology: Animals, Climate, Ecology, Wildlife Biology
Duration:
30 - 35 Minutes
Group Size:
8 or fewer
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National Standards for ...

Science:
Content Standards A, C

Social Studies:
Standard II: People, Places, and Environments
Keywords:
eagles, migration, biology, wildlife, flight

Overview

In "Fly Away! (Exploring Migration)," students will know how to define migration and how migration helps some animals to survive.

Our extensive "Fly Away!" curricula unit is broken into twelve lesson plans, each taking 30 - 90 minutes to complete, and targeted at varying grade levels. A class needn't complete every lesson in the unit - each lesson comes with its own set of objectives and resources.

This is lesson 1 of the unit.

Objective(s)

Guiding Question: Why do some animals migrate?

Critical Content: Students will know how to define migration and how migration helps some animals to survive.

Student Objectives:

Students will be able to ...

  • research facts about a migrating species
  • use reasoning to explain why a species migrates.
  • present information to the class.


Background

Our extensive "Fly Away!" curricula unit is broken into twelve lesson plans, each taking 30 - 90 minutes to complete, and targeted at varying grade levels. A class needn't complete every lesson in the unit, though some lessons do refer to one another and are better done in sequence. However, each lesson comes with its own set of objectives and resources.

The final lesson, "Fly Away! (Being a Biologist)" can be done independently, as a large research project, or as a final assessment after having done some, or all, of the other lessons in the unit.


Check out the other lessons:

Lesson 1: Exploring Migration
Lesson 2: Climate and Seasons
Lesson 3: Climate and Migration Patterns
Lesson 4: Spatial Migration Game
Lesson 5: Migration Cues
Lesson 6: Homing Experiment
Lesson 7: Bird Modeling
Lesson 8: Golden Eagle Life Cycle Diagram
Lesson 9: Which Way Do We Go?
Lesson 10: The Race South
Lesson 11: The Safe Zone
Lesson 12: Being a Biologist




Materials



Procedure

As a class, discuss what migration means. Then students list on the board all of the animals that they can think of that migrate.

Example migratory species: golden eagles, bald eagles, caribou, hummingbirds, leatherback turtles, loggerback turtles, loons, manatees, moose, dall sheep, monarch butterflies, humans, orioles, peregrin falcons, whooping cranes, humpback whales, right whales, gray whales, arctic terns, earthworms, frogs, ducks, and geese.



In pairs, students choose a species from the list and find out some facts about the species. Specifically students should consider what the animal eats, its type of habitat, and how it moves (walk, fly, swim) as well as when and where it migrates.

After considering these facts students should come up with an explanation for why the species migrate. One student from each pair can present their findings to the class and explain their reasoning.



A tally of the different reasons for migration can be made on the board.



Extensions

Discussion Questions: Why do animals migrate?

Extensions: Predict the timing of the different migrations. Then look up the timing to see how close you came.


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