Students will discuss birds with which they are familiar, and then focus the discussion on beaks. What do birds use their beaks for? Are all beaks the same? What beak shapes have students seen?

Allow students to continue exploring birds and their beaks by observing real birds in the schoolyard as well as photographs (print or online).

In this activity, students will get a chance to find out how the shape of a bird’s beak helps decide what it can eat. Students will pretend that they are a bird. Using only the “beak” they select (spoon, chopstick, or tweezer) to “eat” the food (glass marbles, pennies, or toothpicks) provided by the teacher students will place the food into their “stomach” (plastic cup).

Start Activity:

1. Select a beak from the objects provided by your teacher.

2. Get one plastic cup. This cup represents your stomach.

3. Hold your beak in one hand and your stomach in the other.

4. When your teacher tells you, use your beak to pick up “food” (glass marbles) and place them in your stomach.

5. When your teacher says “Stop,” empty your stomach and count the number of items that were in it. Record this amount on the Bird Beaks Record Sheet.

6. This activity will be repeated for each of the other types of food (pennies and toothpicks).

7. When done, be sure you have completed the record sheet with your totals. Then go to computer station and work on the practice exercise.

8. When asked, provide your data to your teacher, who will record the data on a class grid. (A copy of this grid is also on your Bird Beaks Record Sheet. You can write the class totals on this grid if desired.)

9. Using the data that has been recorded on the class grid, create a bar graph that shows the class totals for each beak and food type. The three different bird beaks should be on the X axis and the amount of food collected should be on the Y axis. There should be a different color bar for each type of food.

10. Students will create a classification chart of bird beaks and uses.

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These pages were made through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI and Rice University.

Copyright © July 30, 2004 by James Ferguson.