Bird Feet, It's all about the toes

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Observe inherited traits of bird feet and how they determine a bird's habitat by identifying four different bird feet and how they are used.

Big Idea

Animals have traits that developed based on their environment and habitat.


1 minutes

Warm up

5 minutes

During this second day on bird adaptations, we focused on bird feet. Unlike bird beaks, bird feet are not a trait that most students think about. However, they soon discovered that the secret is in the toes!  They now knew that bird beaks are an important trait that helps a bird find food but they were surprised to find that the feet can also give us a clue to their habitat. I used a PowerPoint to peak their interest.

Guided practice

20 minutes

I used a PowerPoint, Adaptations Bird Feet:Claws in order to guide my students on this bird feet journey! The visuals from the power point helped my students understand the vocabulary and the differences in the feet. I used a modified Frayer Vocabulary Model  to help them connect the words to their own drawings building a lasting impression.


30 minutes

My students really need to learn to think as they read and listen. In this lesson I added slides that model just that. Stop, think, and wonder. Just as scientist need to ask "what if?" my students needed to learn how to do this too. I've learned that this is a skill that must be modeled, but I think that not just saying it, but by actually writing out the question, and having them answer it, they have a better understanding of the concept. This scaffolding should enable them, with practice, to be able to do this on their own in all subjects, not just Science.

I purposely created the graphic organizer, How are these feet used, to help guide them to use their notes and a simple internet search when doing research. Here is completed a Bird feet completed sample. Again, scaffolding is the key.

Class Discussion/Wrap Up

10 minutes

For my students, the sharing of  what we learned at the end of the lesson is extremely valuable. The discussions are the most important because it gives us a chance to sit, discuss, and build on each others ideas. If I eliminated this portion of the lesson, I believe that my students would not absorb as much as they do now. The sharing gives me an opportunity to guide them if they still need more information and it give my students an opportunity to be the "experts" and share with their peers.

 I used The bird feet organizer as a demonstration of learning. Did they take good notes? Can they do a simple internet search and pinpoint information?