Fine-Feathered Falcons

Fine-Feathered Falcons lesson plan

The most common falcon in North America is the American kestrel. Soar with your own beautiful bird of prey!

  • 1.

    Ask students if they ever see large birds perched on power lines or high branches? They might have been sparrow hawks (also called American kestrels or falcons) searching for food in nearby fields. These birds have amazing eyesight, which helps them catch their prey.

  • 2.

    Students find out where falcons live, their life cycle, food, and other details. What role do these fascinating birds of prey play in the food chain?

  • 3.

    Use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to draw and color a large American kestrel. Use pictures to help you capture details. These streamlined birds have long tails and pointed wings. They sit more upright than other kinds of birds.

  • 4.

    With the eraser, erase curved lines to show rows of light-colored feathers on your bird's back. Erase to show the white feathers found on its face and chest.

  • 5.

    Students draw a background scene for their hawk. It could be sitting on a thick power line or tree branch. Blend the colors to give a muted look to the sky or mountains.

  • 6.

    Mat the drawing on colored construction paper with Crayola Glue Sticks.

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Adaptations

  • Invite a local community member that is a known bird watcher. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the expert. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Working in small groups or teams of two, students research other birds of prey. Which are found in the local community? What types of climates do they like to inhabit? Students summarize their research and create a sketch of their bird of prey to accompany the summary. Provide a place in the classroom to post student summaries.
  • Encourage students to take digital photographs of birds that are indigenous to their home community. As a class, identify what types of birds are found in the community.