Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: How Do Birds Find Their Way?


The migration of birds is something that has been studied for centuries and still is an amazing feat that we still don’t fully understand.  How Do Birds Find Their Way,written by Roma Gans and illustrated by Paul Mirocha, is a stage 2 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book that explains in simple terms much of what we know today. The book begins by explaining some basics about birds and migration.  Throughout the rest of the book explains what is known about how birds know which way to go, where they go, how they get there, and how fast they get there.  Each questions is explored in simple terms easily understood by children.  The book is great for a read aloud as it contains great pictures and plenty of opportunities to pause and engage students in discussions.

Curriculum Connections
This book is great to teach children about migration among birds.   It would be useful for 3rd grade.  It works on VA SOL 3.4.

Additional Resources

  • Great Lakes Kids provides an online game that gives students an opportunity to see how long birds migrate in an interactive game.  It also gives some information on the birds involved in the game.
  • HowStuffWorks provides a project that can be assigned to your students or more appropriately as a group activity outside
  • Science and Technology for Canadians provides this video that looks at the migration patterns of birds as well as how the changing climate is affecting these patterns.

Book: How Do Birds Find Their Way?
Author: Roma Gans
Paul Mirocha
Publisher: Collins
Publication Date: January 1996
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: 3-4

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