Lesson Plans about Shorebird Research

Research and Technology

The lesson plans for this stop during "Migration Science and Mystery: A Distance Learning Adventure" at the Fraser River Delta in British Columbia, Canada, emphasize scientific research.  Through the following lessons, students learn about some of the activities scientists conduct to learn about shorebirds. 

Concepts Presented in Lesson Plans

■ Research is vital for shorebird conservation.
■ Through research we learn what shorebirds need and what we can do to conserve them.
■ Some shorebirds concentrate in great numbers at their stopover sites, which provide large populations of birds for study.
■ There are many tools researchers use to collect information about shorebirds.
■ The Scientific Method of Inquiry is the method researchers use to develop a clear hypothesis and a strong study plan.
■ Technology provides vital tools for research.
■ There are still many unanswered questions about shorebirds and how we can conserve them best.

Lesson Plans

Banded Birds
(upper elementary school/middle school)
Students conduct a banding simulation in which they attach colored construction paper armbands to a group of classmates and then observe and record its behavior over the course of a school

Bird Beans
(upper elementary school/middle school)
Using beans and their desktops, students learn and practice techniques for estimating a population of shorebirds.

You Be the Scientist
(upper middle school/high school)
Students work in pairs to develop a study plan that will help them investigate a question about shorebirds.

Imaginary Mist Nets
(upper middle school/high school)
Students create a study plan to answer a research question, they “band” their fellow students and collect data to answer their question.

Shorebirds on the Web
(all levels)
Students use the computer as a resource tool to learn about shorebirds, ecology, wetlands, other cultures, and ecosystems, while at the same time they discover computer technology that will help them throughout their school years and beyond.