Birds And People

Subject: Language Arts/Science

Grade: 1-3

Topic: Reading/Science

Content: After reading

Goals: Students will read book and understand its content.


Science Standard 1: Students, through the inquiry process, demonstrate the ability to design, conduct, evaluate, and communicate results and reasonable conclusions of scientific investigations.

Science Standard 3: Students, through the inquiry process, demonstrate knowledge of characteristics, structures and function of living things, the process and diversity of life, and how living organisms interact with each other and their environment.

Essential Understanding 1: There is great diversity among the 12 tribal Nations of Montana in their languages, cultures, histories and governments. Each Nation has a distinct and unique cultural heritage that contributes to modern Montana.

Essential Understanding 2: There is great diversity among individual American Indians as identity is developed, defined and redefined by entities, organizations and people. A continuum of Indian identity, unique to each individual, ranges from assimilated to traditional. There is no generic American Indian.

Essential Understanding 3: The ideologies of Native traditional beliefs and spirituality persist into modern day life as tribal cultures, traditions, and languages are still practiced by many American Indian people and are incorporated into how tribes govern and manage their affairs. Additionally, each tribe has its own oral histories, which are as valid as written histories. These histories pre-date the “discovery” of North America.

Essential Understanding 6: History is a story most often related through the subjective experience of the teller. With the inclusion of more and varied voices, histories are being rediscovered and revised. History told from an Indian perspective frequently conflicts with the stories mainstream historians tell.

Objectives: After completing this lesson students will have read about and observed birds in their own habitat and learned how their habitat affects how they live.


Bird Cards Handout [PDF]

Lesson plan, Birds and People book downloadable from the Northwest Indian Reading Series, Apsaalooke bird list, place to observe birds, paper to list observations.

Introduction: This story describes the birds and people of the Northwest and their differences. It was told to the Apsaalooke author by his grandfather. The theme of the book is the birds and people of the Northwest; their differences in environment, communication, names, and behaviors. The book points out that despite these differences both species share similarities. The first seven paragraphs focus on bird species and bird behavior. The last six paragraphs connect ideas about bird behavior and movement. This section emphasizes differences in language, environment, and beliefs among tribes.

Development: Students will begin to see the similarities and diversity of the world around them. They will practice observation skills and learn about the grouping of wildlife by habitat.

Practice: Teachers will show students a selection of bird pictures before reading the story. Students will read the story as a group, and then individually. Teachers will then assign students the task of observing a bird either at the school, park, or near their home. Students should write or draw these observations. Ask students what does the bird eat? How does it fly? What does its call sound like? Will it stay there all winter? Why does a bird living there act that way? What else could it eat? etc. Teachers will then ask how is this bird similar to other birds nearby? Do the birds get along well? Are they in competition for food or a place to live?

Checking for Understanding/Evaluation: Students will turn in observation sheets, and participate in a classroom discussion answering the questions in the practice list.

Closure: Students will discuss and explain the differences in bird and human habitat and how that affects their way of life.