Lesson Plan

Fly Away! (Golden Eagle Life Cycle)

Image of a golden eagle nest, looking out over a river valley, with a steep scree slope to the left
The view from a golden eagle nest
NPS Photo

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

Overview

In "Fly Away! (Golden Eagle Life Cycle)," students learn which seasons eagles spend in Denali, when they leave, what season they spend outside the park, and when they return.

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 8 of the unit.

Objective(s)

Guiding Question: When do the golden eagles of Denali National Park and Preserve migrate?

Critical Content: When the golden eagles leave Denali and when they return.

Student Objective: Students will ...

  • review data and use it to answer scientific questions.




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

Students will need:

Construction paper, poster board, markers, pictures of eagles in all phases of their life to copy, scissors, and glue or tape


Procedure

Before You Begin: Discuss terms like hatching, fledgling, subadult, and reproductive adults.

Procedures:

1. Review information on the life of a Denali golden eagle.

2. Make a poster visually depicting the life of a golden eagle. The poster should show all the major events in a golden eagle's life such as hatching, learning to fly, migrating and reproducing.

3. Label the events on the poster.




Extensions

Use Migration data set - coordinates in text format data files to determine when eagles start their migratory journeys. Students can scan the latitude and longitude columns for when they begin to change rapidly and read the date. Put the dates that each eagle leaves the park and returns to the park up on the board. When do they migrate north? When do they migrate south? Do they migrate at similar times? How many days apart are the first and last to leave?

Coordinates in text format
Fledgling #2632
Fledgling #2635
Fledgling #2636
Fledgling #2647
Fledgling #2657
Fledgling #2681
Fledgling #2685
Fledgling #2689
Fledgling #2692
Fledgling #2697

Maps of Migration
Fledgling #2632
Fledgling #2635
Fledgling #2636
Fledgling #2647
Fledgling #2657
Fledgling #2681
Fledgling #2685
Fledgling #2689
Fledgling #2692
Fledgling #2697
All Fledglings
 



Vocabulary

hatchling, fledgling, subadult, reproductive adults