## CURRICULUM BRIDGES: BIRDS

[MATH | LANGUAGE ARTS | SOCIAL STUDIES | VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS | LITERATURE LINKS]

### MATH:

HUMMINGBIRDS LOVE RED: Two hummingbirds are flying toward a red flower. They fly like a helicopter. There are 3 flowers for each hummingbird. How many flowers are there all together?

THE STEPS TO FLIGHT: Birds use 5 steps to fly. If there are 3 birds how many steps are used in total?

A CONDOR & HIS CLIFF: A condor lands on his own cliff above the ocean and then takes off. If there are 4 condors how many cliffs will there need to be?

DUCK RUN: Ducks run across the water to take off and fly. Each duck has 2 webbed feet. If there are 6 ducks, how many feet are there in all?

GOONEY BIRD LANDING: A gooney bird crash lands on his nose. If there are 7 gooney birds how many noses are there?

BREATHING: A bird breathes faster than a man. During flight a bird breathes 450 times a minute and a man breathes 80 times a minute during activity. What is the difference?

SPEED IN LIFT: Speed is most important in producing lift. If you double the speed you get 4 times the lift. What would the lift be if you tripled the speed?

THERMALS: While soaring a bird takes advantage of thermals which are upward movements of air. They are shaped like doughnuts. If there are 25 birds and 150 thermals, what is the total number of thermals that the birds can potentially take advantage of?

SOUTH AMERICAN CONDOR: The South American condor has a wing span of 9 feet. If it flaps its wings 12 times a minute and there are a 100 condors, what would be the total flaps for all the birds?

FEATHER PILLOWS: Susan bought 7 pillows. Each of the pillows are filled with feathers.

#1 pillow has 1,500 feathers
#5 pillow has 1,325 feathers
#2 pillow has 2,125 feathers
#6 pillow has 1,950 feathers
#3 pillow has 1,250 feathers
#7 pillow has 1,800 feathers
#4 pillow has 1,700 feathers

How many feathers are there in total for the 7 pillows? What is the difference between the pillow with the greatest # of feathers and the pillow with the least amount of feathers? What is the average number of feathers for all 7 pillows?

PEREGRINE FALCONS: The fastest birds are the peregrine falcons. They can fly at speeds up to 200 mph. If there are 37 falcons what is the total speed of all the birds?

THE TWO HALVES OF THE FEATHER: The vanes (which are the two halves of a feather) are made of 1,000's of branches called barbs. If a bird has 10,000 feathers and there are 5,000 barbs on each side of the feathers, how many barbs are there all together? Without the feathers the birds would not be able to soar in the sky aerodynamically.

HUMMINGBIRD FLIGHT: A hummingbird can fly 60 mph. If he has flown 380 miles how many hours did it take him?

DIVING BIRDS: Diving birds can stay submerged up to 15 minutes. If there are 250 diving birds what is the total time they will stay submerged?

FLIGHT FEATHERS: Each flight feather has a notch on it about 2/3's of the way to the tip. If there are 1,500 flight feathers on the bird how much of the flight feathers are notched?

HOVERING: A hummingbird hovers for long periods of time because of their flight technique. If 57 hummingbirds are hovering for 25 minutes what is the total hovering time for all the hummingbirds?

### LANGUAGE ARTS:

HOW BIRDS FLY: Read a simplified text about how birds fly. Then as a class write a short story about the birds flying. Copy the story on the blackboard for the children and have them put it in a small journal.

I AM A BIRD: Have the children pretend that they are birds. Then as a class write a poem about being a bird.

DICTIONARY: Have the class make up a dictionary about birds. Together place basic words such as: bird, wing, feathers, drag, airfoil, lift, tail, etc. in the dictionary. Make the definitions together and write in the dictionary.

TAILS LIKE RUDDERS: The tail of a bird acts like a rudder, balancing and steering the bird. It also is turned downward and acts like a brake when coming in for a landing. Together as a class write a story about a bird and how he cares for his tail.

BIRDS THAT JUMP: Some birds jump from a cliff or tall building when starting their flight. Have the children write a story about "Jumping Bird".

ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY: Have the students design and make an illustrated dictionary of words that refer to birds and their flight patterns. Some examples would be: flight, wing span, lift, speed, tilt, etc.

HAIKU POEM: Have the class write Haiku poetry about a particular bird's flying habits. Each student should choose their own bird. A Haiku poem includes 17 unrhymed syllables organized into 3 lines: Line 1 has 5 syllables, Line 2 has 7 syllables, and Line 3 has 5 syllables.

THE NEW BIRD: Have the students pretend that they are a new bird. Have them write about the day in their life when they take their "first flight".

A CAGED BIRD: Ask for a volunteer to bring in their bird from home. Have the bird stay at school for one week. Have each student make a journal out of paper and staple together. Each day take 15 minutes for the students to individually write in their journal about the bird.

THE BLUE HERON: Some birds like the Heron have long legs which they use to push themselves into the air to start their flight. Have the class write a story about the Blue Heron and his flying habits.

THE PROCESS OF FLIGHT: In the process of flight, landing is more difficult than take off. Flight must be ended gradually. The heavier the bird the greater its speed and the more difficult its landing. Have each student write a paper on the dynamics of bird landing.

TOP SPEED: The top speed of a bird depends upon its design. The rate of the wing flap does not determine speed. The vulture, whose wing flap is once per second, has a very powerful thrust. Have the students make up an imaginary tale about a vulture.

FLIGHT FOR A DAY: For one day have your students imagine that they are a bird and that they are going to fly 100 miles. Have them describe their stops, eating, and interactions with other birds.

HUMMINGBIRD FLIGHT: Hummingbirds are amazing birds. The ruby-throated hummingbird is very little. It can fly 500 miles without stopping. Have the students write a poem about this spectacular little bird (only 3 1/2 inches long and weighs less than one penny).

THE PHEASANT AND THE QUAIL: A pheasant and a quail spend most of their time on the ground. When they need to fly they are able to catapult straight into the air. They have short, powerful broad wings. Have the class make up a play about these 2 birds: The Pheasant and The Quail.

### SOCIAL STUDIES:

FEATHERS: As a class do a study of feathers and how the bird uses them during their flight.

BIRDS: Do a study of the different birds that live in your area. Do this as a class. Write the findings up in a journal book that the children help make and present the "book" to the school library. This will be a special project as a class.

MUSEUM JOURNAL: If possible visit a museum where they have displays about birds. As a class compile information about the birds and make a journal.

BIRDS THAT DON'T FLY: As a class project study why some birds do not fly. Write up your findings together.

UNUSUAL BIRDS: Do a study in your class by individual students of unusual birds and how they fly.

BERNOULLI: Have the students do a study of Bernoulli. He discovered the principle of airflow. He never thought to apply it to flight. But as a class apply his findings on airflow to flight.

WATER BIRDS AND LAND BIRDS: Have the individual students do a study of the differences between water and land birds. Have them share their finding with other classmates about the flight patterns of water birds versus land birds.

FLIGHT PATTERNS: Have the class do an individual study of the flight patterns of 5 birds. Then have them compare the differing patterns of the 5 birds and present the findings to the class.

THE BLACK FOOTED ALBATROSS: Do a study of the Black Footed Albatross. This bird can soar for hours. Have the students present their findings to the class.

THE AERODYNAMICS OF BIRDS: Have the students do a study of the aerodynamics of birds and how this affects us as human beings.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Have the class do a study on endangered bird species in the United States. Have them share their findings with the entire class.

UNUSUAL FACTS: Have the students do a comparison study of unusual facts about birds. Have the students compile the facts in a journal.

BANDING: Have the students do a study of bird banding. What it is, how it helps us and birds. Have them write an essay about their findings. (Map banding is used to map the migratory routes of birds).

### VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS:

BIRD NESTS: Have the students make a bird nest. Items that a bird uses to make a nest include: feathers, cattle hair, wool, moss, twigs, sticks, leaves, needles, mud, seed heads, lichens, grass, thread, string, tin foil, paper and tissue. Show the children pictures of bird nests before you begin.

TRACE A BIRD: Give each child a piece of tracing paper and a picture of a bird. Have them put the tracing paper over the picture and trace the bird. Then have the children color the bird that they have traced.

DRAW A BIRD: Give the children a piece of paper and pencil. Then give them step by step instructions on how to draw a bird:
1. Draw 2 circles - one for the head (smaller) and one for the body (larger). Leave a space between the circles.
2. 2. Add the neck, beak, legs, and tail.
3. 3. Fill in the pattern of the feathers.

Make a drawing on the board so that the children can see an example.

FEEDING BELL: To make a bird feeding bell you'll need:

1. yogurt container
2. piece of strong string
3. some bird food: seeds, nuts, raisins, crumbs
4. some melted fat (grease)
5. mixing bowl.

The procedure to make the bell is:

1. Make a small hole in the bottom of the yogurt container.
2. Thread the string through and secure it with a large knot.
3. Ask an adult to warm the fat (grease) until it melts. Mix
4. Spoon the mixture into the cup and leave it in a cool place until it hardens. Hang the bell on a tree.

GARBAGE CAN BATH: Tell the children that the simplest bird bath is to take a lid of a garbage can and put it on the ground and then fill it with water. Have them try it at home with adult supervision and look for birds to come and bathe.

COCONUT FEEDER: The teacher needs to be the one cutting the coconut in half for this project.
1. Cut the coconut in half.
2. Make a hole at the top of the halved coconut.
3. Put the string through the hole and make a big knot.
4. Hang the coconut from the tree.

BIRD PLAY: To music have the children pretend that they are birds and have them "fly" around the room. They can make simple costumes out of tissue paper, construction paper, and scarves to imitate the shape of birds.

MAKE A BIRD BATH: The students can make a bird bath from a sheet of plastic and a few stones. This project will have to be done at home.

1. Dig a hole about 6 inches deep and a yard wide. The hole should have gently sloping sides so small birds can easily get in and out.
2. Line the hole with a sheet of tough plastic. Hold the lining down with stones and sprinkle gravel or sand over it.
3. Put some stones in the middle and stick a twig in them to make a perch.
4. Fill the bath slowly with water. Keep it full.

DRAWING FLIGHT PATTERNS: Give each student a piece of paper and pencil. Go outside and watch birds flying across the sky. Have the students draw an outline of the shape the bird makes in flight. Then have the students show the way the bird is flying with arrows. They can make a pictorial journal of different types of birds that they observe.

PENGUIN PLAY: Have the class write a play about penguins. Then have the class make simple penguin costumes out of large construction paper colored gray, black, and white. Have them invite another class over to view the play.

BIRD SHAPES: Have the class make various simple large bird shapes out of black paper. Have the kids cut them out. Then ask the students to hold the shapes up and see if their classmates can tell what bird it is. (The three features that distinguish a bird is its wings, bill and feet.

BIRD FEEDERS: Give each student an empty half gallon waxed milk carton.

1. 1. With sharp scissors cut a triangle out of each corner of the bottom of the carton.
2. 2. Put 1/2 of a straw on each corner as a perch.
3. 3. Put wire through the middle of the top and hang it from a tree.
4. 4. Place seed in the triangular holes.

Another container you can use is an empty plastic bleach bottle. Cut a large hole in the lower part and put seed into it. Knot a rope inside the lid to hang from a branch of a tree.

HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS: Have each student bring in a small bottle about 3 inches tall. As the teacher you can supply red nail polish, string, and sugar.

1. 1. Have each student paint the upper edge of the bottle with the nail polish. (Hummingbirds are attracted to red).
2. 2. Wrap string around the feeder and tie it to the branch of a tree four or five feet from the ground.
3. 3. To make the nectar: use a spoonful of sugar and two spoonfuls of hot water. Fill the feeder with the sugar water to the brim. (Replace every 3 days to keep fresh or it can spoil from bugs).

PICTURE ALBUM: Have the students take pictures of as many birds, their nests and eggs as is possible at home. Ask them to bring the pictures to school. Have them assemble a photo album and label the pictures. They can then share the albums with one another.

SCRAPBOOK: Have the class assemble a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine articles on birds. Make sure that the student enters the title of the article, the name of the paper or magazine, the date, and the page number for future reference.

CARD FILE: Have students collect postcards that have pictures of birds. Have them find as many as possible and make up a card file for the classroom as a resource.

BIRDHOUSE: Supply wood for the students for a birdhouse. A birdhouse for a tree swallow should be the following dimensions:

The floor - 5" x 5"
The Height - 6" x 8"
The hole diameter - 1 1/2"
The height of the hole above the floor - 4" x 6" distance above the ground

Some birds are fussy and won't use a house that is the wrong size.

BIRD SHOW: Have the class write a play production about birds and put it on for their parents. They can make costumes out of construction paper, tissue paper, and scarves to make the birds.

What Is A Bird?
Author: Ron Hirschi
Publisher: New York: Walker and Company, 1987
Synopsis:
In this exquisite book the author and photographer introduce the young reader to the wonderful world of birds, their eggs, feathers, flight, and color.

Author: Donna Bailey
Publisher: Austin Texas: Steck-Vaughn Library, 1988
Synopsis:
This book is a wealth of pictures and information about birds for the young. The book also includes a glossary with the words from the glossary in bold print within the context of the book.

A First Look At Bird Nests
Author: Millicent E. Selsam and Joyce Hunt
Publisher: New York: Walker and Company, 1984
Synopsis:
This is a thorough book for the young about the nests of birds and how to tell them apart by shape, materials used, location, and placement near the ground or high up. There are puzzles and matching games to help in the process.

Author: Byrd Baylor
Synopsis:
This illustrated book is a poem that tells the story about a Native American Boy who tries to tame a hawk.

A Penguin Year
Author: Susan Bonners
Publisher: Delacorte, 1981
Synopsis:
This is the story about the young penguins of the South Pole and how they are cared for by their parents. It is a well-illustrated text.

Antarctica
Author: Helen Cowcher
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990
Synopsis:
This is a beautifully illustrated book about Adelie penguins. It covers their birth, survival, and then how they are frightened away by people.

Kiou the Owl
Author: Vassilissa
Publisher: Bedrick, 1984
Synopsis:
In this tale Kiou, the owl is born , grows up, learns to fly and hunt, and to make his own home. It is well illustrated.

Owl Moon
Author: Jane Yolen
Publisher: Putnam, 1987
Synopsis:
This is a poetic story about a little girl and her father who look for owls on a cold winter's night. The illustrations lend to the special feeling that the father and daughter have for each other and for nature.

A Peacock on the Roof
Publisher: Child's Play, 1990
Synopsis:
This is a tale about a peacock who leaves home. It is illustrated in a lovely manner and small children will enjoy the predicament that the peacock gets himself into.

Linnea's Windowsill Garden
Author: Christina Bjork
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989
Synopsis:
This is a story about a city girl who tells about her many projects and activities that she has with birds, seeds, and plants. It is well illustrated.

Amazing Birds
Author: Alexandra Parsons
Publisher: New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1990
Synopsis:
This is a fun book with two page pictures, diagrams, descriptions and sketches of several birds. It is like an illustrated dictionary for school age children.

Discovering Songbirds
Author: Colin S. Milkins
Publisher: New York: The Bookwright Press, 1990
Synopsis:
The pictures and explanations of various singing birds is a help to children in understanding the ways of birds. With simplicity and clarity the book describes the birds and their ways.

Hummingbirds In The Garden
Author: Roma Gans
Publisher: New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company
Synopsis:
The author gives a detailed story line about the ruby- throated hummingbird and its abilities. The pictures capture the flashing beauty of this garden jewel.

Birds: Eyewitness Explorers
Author: Senior Editor - Susan Mckeever
Publisher: New York: Dorling Kindersley, Inc., 1992
Synopsis:
This is a small book jammed packed with information on birds. It gives the different characteristics of the species of birds, their eggs, nests, feeding habits, cleaning, habits, etc. It has a combination of illustrations and pictures.

Once There Was A Passenger Pigeon
Author: Esther S. and Bernard L. Gordon
Publisher: New York: Henry Z. Walck, Inc., 1976
Synopsis:
This is a chronicle of the passenger pigeon which is now extinct. It is well illustrated with black ink drawings. It gives the reader the splendor of the bird and what happened to it.

Amazing World of Birds
Author: Stephen Caitlin
Publisher: New Jersey: Troll Associates, Mahwah, 1990
Synopsis:
This is a beautifully illustrated book about different birds, their characteristics and habits. It is easily read.

Wings Along The Waterway
Author: Mary Barrett Brown
Publisher: New York, Orchard Books, 1992
Synopsis:
The birds of the wetlands are beautiful and exotic. In this book the author presents 21 of them along with breathtaking paintings, based on her own firsthand observations.

Outside and Inside Birds
Author: Sandra Markle
Publisher: New York: Bradbury Press, 1994
Synopsis:
This book answers questions like how do birds fly, why do hummingbirds fly backward, do birds have ears, what are their feathers made of, etc. There are stunning colored photographs and clear text for children to read.

Make Way For Ducklings
Author: Robert McCloskey
Publisher: New York: The Viking Press, 1941
Synopsis:
This is a delightful book about a mallard family finding a place to raise their ducklings. It is beautifully illustrated and a favorite story among children.

Owls In The Family
Author: Farley Mowat
Publisher: Bantam, 1985
Synopsis:
This story is about two young orphaned owls. They are rescued by a family and participate in many delightful adventures. It is illustrated in a delightful way.

Urban Roosts: Where Birds Nest In The City
Author: Barbara Bash
Publisher: Little, Brown, 1990
Synopsis:
In this book there is an explanation of how different birds have adapted to life in the city. It is illustrated with pictures that kids will enjoy.

Great Northern Diver: The Loon
Author: Barbara Juster Esbensen
Publisher: Little, Brown, 1990
Synopsis:
This book about the loon is detailed in every way. The color illustrations show their unusual markings and the text tells the reader about their migratory patterns, their habitat, and the raising of their young.

Feathers Like A Rainbow: An Amazon Indian Tale
Author: Flora
Publisher: Harper, 1989
Synopsis:
This is the story of a baby bird's wish for beautiful colored feathers. It has bright colored illustrations and will be a story that children will really enjoy.

The Bird Alphabet Book
Author: Jerry Pallotta
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 1989
Synopsis:
In this book 26 different species of birds are introduced with large, colorful, and detailed drawings and simple facts.

The Sea World Book Of Penguins
Author: Frank S. Todd
Publisher: New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1981
Synopsis:
This is the story of the penguin by someone who has studied them for more than 10 years. The author describes all 17 different penguin species, their history, habitat, lifestyle and breeding. The photographs compliment the text.

Album of Birds
Author: Tom McGowen
Publisher: Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 1982
Synopsis:
The author relates in an exciting and forthright manner the lives of birds, their physical and behavioral adaptations that allow them to survive and prosper. The colored and black and white illustrations add to the depth of the book.

Bird Watch: A Young Person's Introduction to Birding
Author: Mary MacPherson
Publisher: Toronto: Summerhill Press, 1988
Synopsis:
There are more than one trillion birds flying around the world today. This book explores the mysteries of birds. It gives the reader all the information needed to get started in a new hobby: birding!

Backyard Birds of Summer
Author: Carol Lerner
Publisher: New York: Morrow Junior Books
Synopsis:
Bird-watching is very popular! This basic guide to birding includes more than 30 species most likely to be attracted to your backyard. There are full-color portraits of the birds, their description, food preferences, and basic advice on feeders, and birdhouses.

Eyewitness Books: Bird
Author: David Burnie
Publisher: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988
Synopsis:
This is a beautifully illustrated colored text on birds, their characteristics, habits, nests, etc. Students will enjoy the format of the book.

Bird World
Author: Struan Reid
Publisher: London: Hamlyn Children's Books, 1991
Synopsis:
This text is a wonderful collection of information, facts, and statistics about the bird world. It is beautifully illustrated with full-color panoramas of the birds' environments. The clear text also includes useful "fact boxes", glossaries, and a cross-referenced index.

State Birds
Author: Arthur Singer and Alan Singer
Publisher: New York: Lodestar Books, E.P. Dutton, 1986
Synopsis:
This is a treasure about the 50 state birds by one of the world's foremost bird artist, along with his son who writes the text for this book. The book highlights the birds' origins, characteristics, and significance.

Daywatchers
Author: Peter Parnall
Publisher: Scribner's, 1977
Synopsis:
This is a collection of essays talking about American hawks. The author amplifies the text with black-and-white drawings.

The Book of Eagles
Author: Helen Roney Sattler
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1989
Synopsis:
This book includes a complete history of the eagle and its characteristics. It is well illustrated.

Ko-hoh: The Call of the Trumpeter Swan
Author: Jay Featherly
Publisher: Carolrhoda, 1986
Synopsis:
This text details the story of the North American native swan. It includes wonderful color photographs.

A Dog's Book of Birds
Author: Peter Parnall
Publisher: Scribner's, 1977
Synopsis:
This is a fun book from a dog's point of view. The birds are seen through the eyes of a dog with quick essays.

Where The Bald Eagles Gather
Author: Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1990
Synopsis:
This is the story about the eagles who annually eat on the spawning salmon in Montana. It is very interesting and the photographs are beautiful.

Swans
Author: Jack Denton Scott
Publisher: Putnam, 1988
Synopsis:
This is the story of seven species of swans. The history, physical characteristics, behaviors, habitats, and life cycles are discussed. The book includes lovely pictures.

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