Lesson Plans about Shorebird Habitat

Shorebird Habitat

The lesson plans for this stop during "Migration Science and Mystery: A Distance Learning Adventure" at San Francisco Bay, California, emphasize shorebird habitat.  Shorebirds, like all wildlife populations, rely on healthy habitat. Shorebirds may use three very diferent habitat types and geographic areas for breeding, resting during migration, and living the majority of the year. For instance, shorebirds that nest in the northern tundra may migrate inland, stopping near ponds, and spend the winter on southern mudflats.

Concepts Presented in Lesson Plans

■ Habitat is the place where an organism lives because it is adapted to find food, water, shelter, and space there.  Numerous habitats are located within an ecosystem.
■ Shorebirds are one part of a healthy functioning ecosystem.
■ Shorebirds depend on at least three different places for habitat every year of their lives.
■ Shorebirds face numerous threats.
■ The most serious threat to shorebirds is loss of habitat.
■ Both shorebirds and humans depend on clean, healthy ecosystems.
■ Wetland and grassland ecosystems provide extremely important habitats for shorebirds.
■ Your local environment may provide important habitat for shorebirds.
■ Your local environment is part of a natural ecosystem that we all depend on.

Lesson Plans

Shorebird Food Webs
(lower elementary, upper elementary/middle school)
In this activity, students take on the roles of abiotic or biotic components of a wetland or grassland habitat.  Using a ball of yarn, students create a web to demonstrate how shorebirds are connected to all parts of their habitat. They discover how changes in the food web can affect a shorebird’s survival.

Wetland Metaphors
(lower elementary, upper elementary middle school)
Students make comparisons between unrelated objects through metaphors to learn the functions of a wetland.

To complete this activity, you will need to read Shorebirds Depend on a Chain of Healthy Habitats.

Can’t We Share?
(lower elementary)
Students learn how natural and man-made events affect shorebird survival by playing a game of musical chairs in which the students are shorebirds and the chairs are different habitats.

Match the Habitat Cards
(upper elementary/middle school)
By playing a card-matching game, students learn that shorebirds use diverse habitats. Students will discover that shorebirds use these habitats to meet their own specific needs.

Map Your Habitats
(upper middle school/ high school)
By examining maps, students discover the variety of habitats that local shorebirds might use.

To complete this activity, you will need to refer to Types of Habitat and Shorebirds Depend on a Chain of Healthy Habitats.