Lesson Plan:

Bald Eagle: The USA's National Bird

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September 8, 2015
by Sharon Schellenberg

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to say why the bald eagle was chosen as our national bird.

Lesson

Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Gather your students where they can see the interactive whiteboard.
  • Load a picture of the Great Seal of the United States.
  • Invite your students to describe what they see.
  • Count the stars, stripes, arrows, and olives on the seal.
  • Ask your students if they know what kind of bird is on the seal.
  • Tell your students that the American bald eagle is our national bird.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Gather your students where they can hear the story.
  • Show the cover of The Bald Eagle by Lloyd G. Douglas or one of the other suggested books.
  • Invite your students to describe what they see on the cover of the book.
  • Read the book while pausing to make personal connections to your classroom.
  • Gather your students where they can see the interactive whiteboard.
  • Load and watch the Sesame Street video, The National Bird.
  • Discuss the video with your students. Potential prompts include: How was the bald eagle chosen as our national bird? Did everyone agree on the bird? How did they settle their argument? What does it mean to vote on something?
  • Use a piece of chart paper to list the main reasons the bald eagle was chosen as our national bird, such as long life, beauty, strength, and place of origin (America).
  • Have the students read the list with you several times as you track the words with your pointer.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Direct your students to sit in a circle.
  • Explain that you will say some things about our national bird.
  • Tell your students to give a “thumbs up” if your statement is true and a “thumbs down” if your statement is false.
  • Proceed with the game with true or false questions. For example: The chicken is our national bird. The bald eagle is our national bird. Our national bird is not very strong. Our national bird has no feathers. Our national bird comes from the moon. Our national bird comes from America. Pictures of our national bird can be found on stamps. Our national bird can be found on money. Our national bird is extinct. Our national bird only lives for one year. Our national bird lives for a very long time.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Ask your students to remain in a circle.
  • Show your students the Bald Eagle Coloring Page.
  • Tell your students to write one thing about why the bald eagle was chosen to be our national bird and then color the picture.

Extend

Differentiation

  • Enrichment: Encourage your students to write additional details about the bald eagle. Have them write complete sentences if they are able. Give your students the Bald Eagle Fact sheet to read.
  • Support: Give your students a visual guide to help them write one fact about our national bird. Read your students the Bald Eagle Fact sheet.

Related Books and/or Media

Review

Assessment (5 minutes)

  • During guided practice, look for students who are giving the correct hand signal during the true and false statements.
  • During independent practice, look for students who are using appropriate colors on the bald eagle.
  • Make sure your students are able to read their sentences to you.
  • Ask your students to name one or two more things about the bald eagle.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Invite your students to name some reasons why the bald eagle is our national bird.
  • Ask your students why there had to be a vote to choose the bald eagle.
  • Ask your students to name some places that they can see a picture of the bald eagle.
  • Invite your students to describe what they liked about the lesson.
  • Compliment your students on their hard work!

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