Bird Beaks Classroom Activity

Activity DETAILS

YEAR LEVELS

F-2, 3&4, 5&6

Curriculum Links

Science F-2: (VCSSU042) 3-4: (VCSSU058) 5-6: (VCSSU074)

The Bird Beaks activity allows students to explain the role of different bird beaks in aiding the survival of particular bird species. Students will engage in an experiment that explores the effect of beak types on the diets of a variety of bird species and the environments in which they live. Students are then able to discuss how humans are changing these environments and how this affects bird populations.

Biodiversity, Species Adaptation, Evolution, Habitats, Environmental Change

1. Students will be able to describe the use of animal body parts for different purposes
2.Students will be able to explain how particular adaptations aid survival
3. Students will be able to explain how changes in the environment can impact on living things

Formative
1. Participation in the Bird Beak experiment
2. Completion of the Bird Beak activity table and questions
3. Students complete a short written summary of key findings of the experiment

1. Meet the Birds
Look at the first column of Table 1. Learn about each beak and which bird it belongs to.

2. Experiment
Use the different materials for ‘beaks’ (see other side for equipment list) to pick up different objects. Think about which ‘beaks’ are best for different types of food. Complete the table and then discuss what you discovered.

3. Discussion
Lower Primary (F-2)
1. Which beak was best for drinking nectar?
2. Which beak was the best for eating fish and frogs?
3. Why do you think it was difficult to pick up the marble with the chopsticks?
4. What might happen to the birds with long and sharp beaks if there were no fish left?

Upper Primary (3-6)
1. Which beak was the best for eating fish and frogs?
2. How does the shape and size of a bird’s beak influence what it can eat?
3. Predict what might happen to the birds with long and sharp beaks if there were no fish left?

EQUIPMENT
You will need the following materials for each student group running the experiment:

1 set of tongs
2 chopsticks
2 wooden spoons
1 pair of tweezers
1 eye dropper or 1 large syringe
Cotton buds
Coins
Marbles
Water
Bird Beaks Table (see Activity Materials printout)

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