Bird Seekers: Back Yard Birds Habitat Webquest

Grade Level: Elementary (K-3)
Time frame: 2-4 weeks

Overview:

Using “Lois Ehlert’s “Feather’s for Lunch” as starting point, students will choose birds to identify and then use web resources to compile information about bird habits and characteristics. They will combine this information with the information collected by their teammates in order to make a chart comparing the similarities and differences of all of the birds in their group. Then, they use the information to design a hypothetical habitat suitable for all (or most all) of the birds that their team studied. Following a discussion, the teams will either locate, fix, or build a habitat that best matches their design ideas (in order to attract most birds). In conclusion, students make observations of the habitat at different times to observe and document any birds that visit. Students reflect on what they observe (identify the birds, note any changes they would make to the habitat, or why they think some birds have come and others have not, what birds like best, what could be added, etc.).

Big Question: What do birds need to survive?

How can we teach students to select appropriate information for their investigation and relate those ideas to show how plants, animals, humans depend on each other and the environment?

Standards:

NETS -- National Curriculum Standards

NYLearns -- New York State Curriculum Standards

Process:

o       Intro

o       Task

o       Process

o       Resources  The "Easy Peek Bird Guide" uses bird photos (from the Cornell Site) and simple text to make it easy for younger children to see and read information about their bird. The resource links used in this webquest are just a few of the many  on the web for bird study. Sites were selected based on the quality of information and for their ease of use by children. Sites were avoided that contained pop-up ads and a lot of commercial information when possible.

o       Evaluation

o       Conclusion

 Discussion:

* Activity Sheets -- The activity sheets for the webquest are designed so that they can be printed  for students to fill in the data based on their research. The students save all of the activity sheets in a journal folder. The pencil/crayon, paper aspect is used to accommodate younger students and/or limited time/access to computer lab, as well for different learning strengths. However: There is no reason why these activities could not be done using a computer thus giving students additional opportunities to learn and use technology.

Field guide software exists for PDA/ handheld devices. The use of these devices could be easily be incorporated with the webquest.

Credits:

Images and music are copyrighted by original artists and reproduced for educational purposes only. No infringement is intended. Efforts were taken to obtain all necessary permissions. If anything on this site is in violation, please contact me and it will be immediately removed.

Photos:  http://www.birds.cornell.edu/programs/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/
All copyrights held by original photographers as indicated

Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt Brace, NY 1990

Clip art: Christine's Free Bird Clip Art http://birding.about.com/library/blalphaclipart.htm 

Music: Mockin Bird Hill wav file from Burl Ives Song Collection http://www.angelfire.com/folk/folk32a/BIves.htm

Burl Ives http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/special/ives.html 

To purchase Burl Ives Recordings http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/ref=dp_sr_00/103-2538240-8757462

Disclaimer: Every effort was made to link to sites with accurate information. However, I have no control over the content that appears on other websites. Since the WWW is a dynamic environment, teachers should check the link sites prior to classroom use to make sure the material continues to be appropriate.

Please contact Joel Black to make suggestions or comments.