Birds of a Feather Nest Together

Birds of a Feather Nest Together Inquiry

Birds of a Feather Nest Together

Designed By: Carly Sannan, Christine Pohlman, Elle Folger, and Erin Smith

Age Level: 5-8

Materials Needed

  • nests
  • five sets of bird picture cards (Hummingbird, Emperor penguin, Cactus wren, Killdeer, Bald eagle)
  • five sets of bird nest picture cards (Hummingbird, Emperor penguin, Cactus wren, Killdeer, Bald eagle)
  • nest activity sheet
  • chart paper

Background Information

Bird information will be found on the back of each bird picture card. The week before this lesson, students may bring in any uninhabited bird nests. The objective of this lesson is for students to investigate why birds build their nests according to their habitat (in order to keep their eggs safe.) Explain to students prior to the activity that different groups may come up with various answers. This activity can also be implemented prior to a field trip to a museum to investigate birds and their nests.


Activity Description

1. Pass out the pictures of the bird nests.

2. Initiate discussion of what students notice about the bird nests. (Students may have responses such as: differences in size, materials, location, color, texture, shape, etc.)

3. Ask students if they have any questions about the bird nests.

4. Remind students of words that start questions (what, when, how, where, why).

5. Teacher holds up one bird picture card at a time and gives students some background information on each bird. Info is found on the back of the bird picture.

6. After each bird’s information card is read, students guess which bird made each nest. Students make a guess about which bird matches each nest by placing the picture cards together.

7. After all guesses are made for each bird, the teacher will ask all groups to look at nest #1 and hold up the bird picture card they think matches the nest.

8. Teacher will ask students why they think the picture cards match. Go through all five nests in this manner. Allow a different group to answer each time.

9. Teacher reveals correct bird and nest matches. #1 Hummingbird, #2 Emperor Penguin, #3 Cactus Wren, #4 Killdeer, #5 Bald Eagle.

10. Teacher reads the book Birds Build Nests by Yvonne Winer.

Wrap Up

1. Discuss which answers were easy to match and why. Ask which matches were difficult and why.

2. Have a discussion about how a bird’s environment influences the type of nest they build.