One of my favorite lessons to use when teaching my heredity unit is the Bird Beak Adaptation lesson. This is a super fun lesson that is broken into stations with different rotations. The kids absolutely love it and walk away with a better understanding of animal adaptations. There are many variations of how to teach this lesson, each as effective as the other.
One of the ways I teach this lesson is to assign each student a specific "beak" to be carried with them through each rotation. Each student is also given a small cup that must be held to their chest the entire game, leaving them only one hand to use to operate their "beak". The cup represents their stomach. Students will rotate to a variety of "feeding" stations. Each station has a different object that represents a different type of food specific to a type of beak. By the time students rotate through each rotation they quickly learn that certain beaks have their pros and cons to the type of food they are trying to collect. I give students 45 seconds at each station to collect as much food into their little bird belly. At the end of 45 seconds students count up how many pieces of food they were able to ingest and record that number on their data tracker.
I hope you and your students enjoy this lesson as much as I do! As always I LOVE your feedback. Please let me know if you have any questions. ****Remember to follow my store, Teaching on Lemon Lane to stay up to date on the latest products, sales, and FREEBIES!
The materials you need for this lesson are the following:
Rice, and Clay
Marbles and wide mouth container to hold water
Water and Container (Narrow vase is best)
I specifically didn't write what tools were to be used for beaks in hopes that you could adapt the lesson to what you already have. For the beaks I use chopsticks, tweezers, slotted spoons, straws, tongs, and clothespins. In this download I have included a key for the actual birds and beaks being represented as well as a public domain image of that bird so the student can see the actual beak and imagine the types of food that bird would eat.