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This lesson provided by:
Author:Nancy Newton
System: Monroe County
School: Monroeville Elementary School
Lesson Plan ID: 23879

Bird Migration


This lesson teaches bird migration by using the award winning Caldecott Medal honor book: Make Way for Ducklings. It accesses a website to give a history of the book and the plot. It promotes student interaction through discussion, internet information and activities to include computer games, videos, and color sheets.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
CE(K-12) 5. Fairness
SC(2) 6. Identify characteristics of animals, including behavior, size, and body covering
TC2(K-2) 7. Use digital tools to access and retrieve information.
ELA2015(2) 9. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the Grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. [RL.2.10]
SS2010(K) Living and Working Together in Family and Community2. Identify rights and responsibilities of citizens within the family, classroom, school, and community.
SS2010(2) Living and Working Together in State and Nation10. Identify ways people throughout the country are affected by their human and physical environments.
Local/National Standards:

National Science Education Standard come from the National Academies of Science, and Project 2061 comes from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop understanding of the characteristics of organisms.
Life cycles of organisms.
Organisms and environments.
As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop abilities of technological design
Understanding about science and technology
Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

*The students will define migration. *The students will explain that birds have to travel for survival due to climate changes in certain seasons. *The students will describe how we are dependent upon each other in the communities in which we live.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

(1) Book: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.
(2) Chart paper and marker or marker board and dry erase marker.
(3) Printer & copier for color sheets.

Technology Resources Needed:

(1) Computer with Internet Explorer access.
(2) Windows Media Player.
(3) Adobe Acrobat Reader.
(4) Quicktime for Movies.
(5) Real One Player.


(1)Access to the book: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.
(2)Preview websites to make sure your computer does not need any updates.
(3)Print out color sheets & copy.

1.)Read the book: Make Way for Ducklings by: Robert McCloskey. This book teaches migration and survival. It also teaches the importance of community and helping each other. Next show the website listed to see the picture of the bronze statue of these ducks in Boston's Public Garden. (I would group students on the floor in a group while reading and for discussion aferwards, if possible).
(Make Way for Ducklings)
This is a reference of the book. The history of the book is given and background of the author. The plot is given and there is a picture showing a bronze statue in Boston's Public Garden commemorating the ducks. Wikipedia is a non-reference resource

2.)After reading the book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, ask students what they learned from this story. After listening to responses, show the word migration with definition on chart paper or marker board. Go over definition with students. Migration: When an animal or person travels to a different area for food, shelter and to avoid weather that is too hot or too cold. Next show the website listed about bird migration. Choose the area that interests you or your students the most. Make copies of your favorite color page for the students to do or as homework and/or use as a writing activity.
(Bird Migration Game - Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center)
This is a great website. You can actually listen to birds sing. There is a hummingbird video, online color pages and many other activities. Just follow the prompts.

3.)Discuss how the birds were dependent on the policeman as a community helper for survival. Discuss how we are dependent upon each other in our own community. Ask children to describe ways we depend on each other. Emphasize the fact that we have to think of others first and what is best for them sometimes instead of acting selfishly. Visit the Clifford's Big Ideas page and use the play fair character trait idea and color page.
(Clifford's Big Ideas)
Clifford's Big Ideas are positive character traits modeled by the characters in the tv series Clifford the Big Red Dog. There are several character lesson ideas, discussion topics and coloring page for each on this website.

4.)Writing Activity for Assessment. Have students write the beginning, middle and end of the story and what they learned. If they are too young to write, have them draw a picture of these things on the attached pages. Use the attached page for this assessment.
(free graphic organizers)
This site houses free graphic organizers.

5.)For an extension activity, refer to this website with an animated globe of the Arctic Tern flying it's migratory pattern. There is also a video of an Arctic Tern feeding it's chick among other activities.
(Project Puffin Virtual Puffin)
This website shows an animated globe with an Arctic Tern flying it's migratory pattern. There is also a video of an Arctic Tern feeding it's chick. There are other activities on this website at the touch of a mouse. Just click & enjoy!

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
Assessment Strategies:

See Step #4 for assessment strategy. Attached is the assessment page for this step.


When finished with assignment, these students can assist in helping other students if needed. They can also access the websites (Step #2 and/or Step #5) which are attached to the lesson and do the various activities offered while other students are involved with completing teacher led instruction or completing current task.


Peer tutoring. Pair with student who has completed and understands assignment. Allow them to work together for completion of task. They may also need assistance with computer and accessing websites. A computer expert should be the helper - the child who has mastered this and can help others navigate through the process as needed.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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