Read Caldecott award honor book Me Jane by Patrick McDonnell or ALA notable book, The Watcher: Jane Goodalls Life with Chimps by Jeanette Winter. Use this book to introduce cause and effect using a Thinking Map flow chart for your students to complete in small groups.
Connect to your science curriculum by demonstrating the power of observation by showing the Project Puffin webcam at Explore.org. Keep it up for the morning and have students record what they observe. There is a shore view and, my favorite, the nestcam view. Steve Kress, a director of the National Audubon Society, mentioned in today’s Houston Chronicle that the puffins were the most troubled group of birds facing extincting in the world.
Read the book, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, and discuss that the Channel Islands off of the California coast was the setting for this novel. If it weren’t for the Channel Islands, we would not have the great numbers of shore birds including the western gull. Show the map of the states with the location for the webcam off the coast of Maine. Students can discuss the prompt in their journals: What can be done to help save these birds?
Allow your students to visit a literacy center with the iBird Lite app at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibird-explorer-lite/id316233860?mt=8 and allow them to listen to the Puffin call and learn more about the bird. Students may then compare and contrast another bird on the app.