Activities and Lesson Plans

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You may print Come Fly With Me children's pages from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. We hope you'll consider a subscription to our magazine. Be sure to check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine special offer for teachers. And please let us know your suggestions for future issues at: education@tpwd.state.tx.us

Suggested Topics: birds, habitat, migration, land use.

Related 4th Grade TEKS

Social Studies:
4.6 A, B: Geography: Use geographic tools such as maps
4.7 A, B: Geography: Regions: human activity, landforms, climate, vegetation from physical characteristics
Science:
4.6 A, C: Science Concepts : Identify recognizable patterns
4.8 A, B: Science Concepts : Adaptations increase survival
4.9 A, B: Science Concepts : Learned and inherited traits
Math:
4.3 A: Number, operation, and quantitative reasoning: Add and subtract to solve problems

Discussion Questions

  • What is migration?
  • How many species of birds found in Texas migrate?
  • What is a flyway?
  • What birds like to fly in a "v" shape?
  • What do birds use to help them find their way?
  • What are some of the dangers birds must face when they migrate?
  • What about migration is inherited? (answer: when to fly, size, shape)
  • What about migration is learned? (answer: where to go)
  • What senses does Cliff say you should use to identify birds?
  • What did Jesse Huth do to learn how to identify birds?

Activities

whooping cranes

  • Learn about migration
    • Get out maps and look at migration routes through North and South America. Use flyway maps and examples of migration routes for several birds found in the Migration and Migratory Birds of Texas publication.
    • Watch the video: Rare Cranes Taught to Migrate at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/11/071106-cranes-video-wc.html. This video features captive-bred whooping cranes in Wisconsin being taught to migrate to Florida. Whooping cranes from Wisconisn migrate east to Florida while the cranes from Alberta, Canada, migrate to Texas. Read about Whooping Cranes that winter in Texas. Read about a refuge for whooping cranes at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
    • Explore bird and other migrating species through Journey North. Consider having your students track migration.
  • Become birdwatchers
  • Read some of the wonderful articles in this month's issue of TPWD magazine. Then have students cut out pictures of birds in the magazine to make posters, trading cards or greeting cards with fun facts about that bird.
  • Have students make presentations about birds. Choose an interesting aspect about birds such as bills, migration, feet, color or other. Use the Learn About Texas Birds Activity Book; the Kids Pages or for more advanced readers, the TPWD species fact sheets as sources for their research. To get you started here are some links: In addition to whooping cranes and hummingbirds, consider some of the species mentioned in the magazine such as the Yellow-billed cuckoo or mergansers. For example, here are few interesting facts on these waterfowl: The Hooded merganser winters on wooded rivers and lakes from the Panhandle to the lower Gulf Coast. It dives underwater for most of its food, which includes small fish, frogs, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic insects. A cavity nester that requires large cavities or manmade nest boxes. The Common merganser winters on large freshwater lakes. It eats mostly fish. The merganser and has a serrated bill to hold slippery prey. It also dives underwater for crustaceans and mollusks. The Red-breasted merganser tolerates both fresh and saltwater. It dives for fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.
  • Research the wildlife trails. Are you near a trail? What species might you find?
  • Other Ideas:

 


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