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It's For the Birds Program Resources

Recommended Reading

Image result for woodpecker whamWoodpecker Wham by April Pulley Sayre illustrations by Steve Jenkins
Grades: Preschool-3rd
Lexile Level: AD320L

Selected because: 
Accurate illustrations as well as fun rhythm and onomatopoeia. Simple book accessible to emerging readers, lots of physical and behavioral adaptations to discuss in illustrations. Information at the end of the book explains the details in the illustrations.

Suggested activities:
Compare and contrast different woodpeckers in the book. Why do they have the features they do? How does that help them survive?

Listen to recording of different woodpeckers drilling and calling. Create instruments that mimic those sounds, and use them to make the book a musical.

Students research and choose feeders and food type to set up outside the classroom window or other viewable location. After observing birds for a span of time, students choose one bird to research and create a page similar to those in Woodpecker Wham. Pages can be bound together for a class bird book to share.

Image result for look up bird watching in your own backyardLook Up! Bird-watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate
Grades: 3-5th
Lexile Level: 810L

Selected because: 
Entertaining guide to birdwatching. Emphasis on observation skills and recording. Information is dense, may be overwhelming for some students. 

Suggested activities:
Use for guided observation: read a page as a class, then go outside to practice the skill (eg. Read about beak shapes, observe birds to notice beaks).

Image result for The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird ArtistThe Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist by Margarita Engle illustrations by Aliona Bereghici
non-fiction biography
Grades: 1-3rd
Lexile Level: AD970L

Selected because: 
Well-written biography of "the father of modern bird painting" provides historical and career connections. 

Suggested activities:
Carefully observe birds in the wild and draw or describe what you see. 
Review the features of this biography, use them to create an outline. Interview an adult in your life and use the outline to write their biography. 

Paddle Perch Climb: Bird Feet are Neat by Ellen Angus 
Grades: Preschool - 3rd
Lexile Level: AD480L

Selected because: In engaging images and simple vocabulary, the connection between different foot structures and bird diet is cleanly made. Simple food chains are on almost every page (a predator stalking the bird while the bird consumes its food). This is a nice launching point for both adaptations and niches. Expanded information in the back of the book. 

Suggested activities:
The end of the book includes suggested lessons of designing a bird with beak and feet that enable it to thrive in its habitat and creating food chains based on the habitats portrayed in the book. 

Have students research birds they may see in their area, then create two pages to add to the book (one describing the feet, one showing how the feet help the bird get food in its habitat). 

Counting Birds:The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends by Heidi E.Y. Stemple illustrated by Clover Robin 
non-fiction biography
Grades: 2nd - 5th
Lexile Level: Not Available

Selected because: Beautifully illustrated history of bird conservation gives background to current citizen science projects

Suggested activities:
Explore birding citizen science opportunitys and data at the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and eBird.
Have students study images of a bird species of their choosing, then use cut paper shapes to accurately model it.