Lesson Plan

Fly Away! (Bird Modeling)

A golden eagle perched on rocks
Golden eagles are specially adapted for migration
NPS Photo / Kent Miller

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Grade Level:
Third Grade-Eighth Grade
Subject:
Biology: Animals, Ecology, Wildlife Biology
Duration:
Two 45 minute periods
Group Size:
8 or fewer
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National Standards for ...
Science:
Content Standard C

Overview

In "Fly Away! (Bird Modeling)," students will learn the physical and behavioral adaptations that help golden eagles migrate long distances successfully.

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 7 of the unit.

Objective(s)

Guiding Question: What types of adaptations would an animal need to migrate? What adaptations do eagles have?

Critical Content: Birds are highly mobile and have unique features that make them efficient flyers.

Student Objectives: Students will ...

  • build a physical model of a biological system
  • construct a physical model of written information



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

For constructing the eagle models: Straws, paper, string, tape, glue, scissors, feathers or colored paper to make feathers, cotton balls, and red tissue paper.

Procedure

Read about the physical and behavioral adaptations of golden eagles for migration. It may be useful to review the migration basics reading, too.

Each student group develops a plan for the construction of a model of a migratory golden eagle. They should have reasons for including each feature. Students should include the specific migratory adaptations of the bird.

Build a model of a golden eagle. Use straws for bones, cotton for fat, red tissue paper for muscles and colored paper for wings. The wings should be able to move so that students may model the behavioral adaptations as well.




Vocabulary

natal area, fledgling, telemetry