(35 pages) This activity has four parts that will help students develop a scientific way of looking at the natural world. Students will study pictures of six common midwestern birds (black and gray), and will work cooperatively to list DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS (DC) for each bird. Black outline sketches of each bird are provided and are to be colored in by students to show these DC. A dichotomous identification key will be developed and shared by student groups. Finally, Flash Cards (and templates) are provided to help students master bird names and DC. This is an interesting and fun activity which will help students begin to make keener observations of the natural world around them.