Animal Adaptations: Focus on Bird Beaks

This website contains the directions for a lab activity simulating bird beaks. Students will use tools shaped similar to several bird beaks to determine the type of food each bird would select. This lab helps students to understand adaptations through inquiry. The assessment is determined by the number of correct beaks students are able to match to the food source. This activity can be adapted to fit the needs of students. Students will also be averaging and graphing their results incorporating math skills. The bird beak activity allows students to explore and classify adaptations through hands on inquiry. Adaptations can easily be made based on student population and materials. Teacher or student generated tables will need to be completed prior to activity. If no access to bird beak keys, the following sources have great illustrations for verification. Copy and paste URL in browser http://junior.edumedia-sciences.com/en/a638-birds-beaks Click on bird for larger view. http://www.ummz.umich.edu/birds/resources/anatomy/body/beaks.html

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a...
GLE 0601.1.1
Demonstrate control of Standard English through the use of grammar and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).
GLE 0601.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
GLE 0601.3.2
Employ various prewriting strategies.
GLE 0601.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0601.3.4
Refine strategies for editing and revising written work.
GLE 0601.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0601.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
GLE 0807.5.3
Analyze how structural, behavioral, and physiological adaptations affect an organisms ability to survive in a particular environment.
SPI 0601.1.1
Identify the correct use of nouns (i.e., common/proper, singular/plural, possessives) and pronouns (i.e., agreement, subject, object) within context.
TSS.ELA.6.L.CSE.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage.
TSS.ELA.6.W.PDW.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new...
TSS.ELA.6.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Objectives: 

Students will:

  • Comprehend that birds have physically adapted in relation to their type of food supply.
  • Deduce what beaks are most efficient for given foods by experimenting with imitation beaks and given food sources.
  • Describe what will happen to a bird population if its environment could no longer support the bird's food source. 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying

Helpful Hints

Materials:

Beaks: 

  • 2 eyedroppers
  • 1 pliers
  • 5 sets of chopsticks
  • 4 tweezers
  • 1 shoestring
  • 1 sponge
  • strip
  • 1 straw
  • 1 wrench
  • 2 slotted spoons
  • 1 strainer
  • 3 tongs
  • 1 envelope
  • 1 turkey skewer

Food: 

  • coloured water in a long narrow container 
  • gummy worms
  • sunflower seeds
  • styrofoam cubes
  • popped popcorn
  • rice
  • marshmallows
  • loose tea

Other: 

  • potting soil
  • shallow pans
  • 8 boxes
  • data tables for each student
  • 8 cups
  • vase or graduated cylinder
  • pictures of various birds with corresponding environment/habitat and food source 

References

Contributors: