Lesson Plan

Fly Away! (Homing Experiment)

A golden eagle in flight near a rocky slope

Learn how animals navigation during migration

NPS Photo / Kent Miller

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Grade Level:
Third Grade-Eighth Grade
Subject:
Biology: Animals, Climate, Ecology, Geography, Science and Technology, Wildlife Biology
Duration:
45 - 60 minutes
Group Size:
8 or fewer
Setting:
outdoors
National/State Standards:
National Standards for ...
Science: Content Standards A, C, E

Overview

In "Fly Away! (Homing Experiment)," students will learn how different animals use different senses to know when to migrate and how to navigate.

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 6 of the unit.

Objective(s)

Guiding Question: What cues does an animal use to know when to migrate? How do animals orient and navigate during migration?

Critical Content: Animals follow seasonal and life-history cues to know when to migrate. Animals use specific senses to navigate on their way.

Student Objectives: Students will ...

  • create hypotheses
  • design an experiment
  • perform an experiment
  • record data
  • draw conclusions



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

Procedure