Lesson Plan

Fly Away! (Climate and Migration Patterns)

A golden eagle in flight
Some animals, like golden eagles, must migrate to different climates during different seasons
NPS Photo / Kent Miller

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Subject:
Biology: Animals, Climate, Ecology, Geography, Wildlife Biology
Duration:
45 - 60 minutes
Group Size:
8 or fewer
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National Standards for ...
Science:
Content Standards A, C

Social Studies:
Standard II

Overview

In "Fly Away! (Climate and Migration Patterns)," students will learn about Denali's climate and seasons and why some animals - like eagles - spend different seasons in different climates.

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 3 of the unit.


Objective(s)

Guiding Question: How do climate and seasons affect whether an animal would migrate and where?

Critical Content: Students will understand why animals may spend different seasons in different climates.

Student Objectives: Students will ...

  • research data about movements and geography
  • communicate through maps and diagrams
  • earn how to use maps to process and report information from a spatial perspective

 

 



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

Before You Begin: Review Migration Basics and the differences between climate and seasons.


Drawing from the list of migratory species created in the Exploring Migration activity, or which you come up with separately, students research some different species' migration routes and then plot the routes on a climate map.

In addition, or alternatively, you may choose to have one large climate map created by the students and posted on the wall and then students draw the migration routes for the different species they have researched on the one map. Routes should be marked in different colors and a key made to easily identify the species.


Students write conclusions about the migration of their species including why they think an animal may spend different seasons in different climates.