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Tropical Birds at Night

Capture amazing rain forest birds with a scratch-out crayon technique.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. During an investigation into birds that live in tropical climates, invite students to do more in-depth research on a birds they would like to "adopt." Provide text resources as well as access to the Internet for students to use when gathering facts about habitat, size, egg-laying, and necessities for the birds' survival in the rainforest. Students prepare a written summary report about their chosen birds. The final draft of the report can be written using Crayola® Crayons or Erasable Colored Pencils that are the colors of the birds' plumage.
    2. To accompany student writing, each will create a Tropical Bird at Night. To begin this project, students will add a thick layer of crayon to cover white paper with color.
    3. Cover the color with a dense layer of black Crayola crayon.
    4. Demonstrate for students how to scratch lines with a craft stick through the top layer to reveal color beneath. If this is the first time using the scratch-out technique, encourage students to experiment with it on scrap paper before scratching their tropical birds.
    5. Once complete, post artwork and student writing in a prominent place in the classroom or school hallway. Allow time for classmates to read others' writing and admire their artwork.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Represent and interpret data.

    SCI: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    SS: Explore causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as pollution and endangered species.

    SS: Identify examples of laws and policies that govern scientific and technological applications, such as the Endangered Species Act and environmental protection policies.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of are to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource includes: If I Ran the Rain Forest: All About Tropical Rain Forests (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth; Toucans and Other Birds (Animals That Live in the Rain Forest) by Julie Guidone; The Field Guide to Rain Forest Animals (Field Guides) by Nancy Honovich

    Students create a virtual tropical bird sanctuary. Students organize research on selected bird species and post their organized research to the virtual tropical bird sanctuary. Invite families and other visitors to visit during an open house or parent conference.

    Students work in small groups to propose ways humans can help to protect tropical birds in rainforests. The group should be prepared to present their ideas to classmates for further discussion.

    Using recycled boxes and cardboard, students create a 3-D representation of a rain forest. Create a habitat that is healthy for the tropical birds. Use Crayola Model Magic to form 3-D models of the tropical birds studied and place them strategically in the habitat's trees.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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