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Raptors of Arizona
 

Here are some ideas to incorporate the Raptors of Arizona poster into your third grade classroom. The appropriate standards are listed below each activity.

Comparing Bones

Go to the local butcher and see if you can get a hold of bones from a cow and a bird. Clean them up and observe. Do not forget to look at the inside of the bones. How are the bones similar? Different? What reasons can you give that might explain the differences between the bones?

  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 4, Objective 1

Comparing Speeds

The peregrine falcon is an extremely fast bird. It can dive at approximately 270 miles per hour. But how does this compare to other animals? The pronghorn is the fastest land animal in North America and the cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world. Use the Internet to research how fast these animals can travel. Try to determine the fastest aquatic animal? How do these animals compare to the peregrine? Is there a bird that travels faster?

  • Math: Strand 1, Concept 1, Objective 9

Eagle Eyes

An eagle is capable of spotting its prey from over one mile away. Find a rock or other small, mouse-sized object and place it in the middle of a large field or park. Walk away from the object until you can no longer see it. Mark your location and measure the distance from the object. How far away is it? How much better is an eagle’s eyesight?

  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 4, Objective 1
  • Math: Strand 4, Concept 4, Objective 8

Electrocution

It is not uncommon to find birds perching on power lines. Most of the time, these lines pose no threat to the animals. However, they can be extremely dangerous, if not deadly, to larger birds, like hawks. Why do you think that larger birds are at a greater risk of electrocution if they perch on power lines? What solutions can you propose that would keep these birds from being electrocuted? Write a brief letter to the local power company explaining your ideas.

  • Writing: Strand 3, Concept 3, Objective 2

Endangered in Arizona?

The bald eagle was recently removed from the endangered species list. However, there is still debate in Arizona about the eagles found in the state. Some people believe they are unique enough and should be considered a subspecies of the eagles found in the rest of the country and remain on the endangered species list. What do you think? What advantages and disadvantages are there for leaving the Arizona eagles on the list? Write a short essay explaining your position.

  • Writing: Strand 3, Concept 4, Objective 1

Height vs. Wingspan

Is there a relationship between the height of a bird and its wingspan? Let’s find out. Research the heights and wingspans of the raptors on the poster. Graph this data. Does there appear to be a trend or is the data random? What explanation can you provide for this result? Measure the heights and “wingspans” of the students in your class. Graph these results. How does the class data compare to the raptors?

  • Math: Strand 2, Concept 1, Objective 3

Pesticides

One of the main reasons bald eagles became endangered was the use of a very powerful pesticide called DDT. This chemical caused their eggs to become very weak. The shells became so thin that they could not support the weight of the parents trying to keep them warm. As a result, the eggs would not hatch. Try an experiment to simulate this situation. Place one egg in a glass of water and one in a glass of vinegar. Observe both eggs for a day or two. What is happening? Carefully remove both eggs from the glasses and place each one on a separate plate. Which egg do you think is stronger? Place a book or other weight on top of each egg. How many books can you use before each egg breaks?

  • Science: Strand 1, Concept 1, Objective 2
  • Science: Strand 1, Concept 2, Objective 3
  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 3, Objective 5

Wild Kids

Check out the Wild Kids activity page focused on raptors.

  • Reading: Strand 3, Concept 1, Objective 1
 

 
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