The elementary/middle-school classroom activity package ‘Seabirds’ was developed by Thalassa Education, the Seabird Youth Network, Oregon State University, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Oikonos, and NORTAC. Artwork was created by Ram Papish. Funding for the curriculum was provided by the National Park Services Shared Beringian Heritage Program.
A seabird is a bird that spends most of its life at sea. Despite a diversity of species, seabirds share similar characteristics. They are all adapted for a life at sea and they all must come to land to lay their eggs and raise their chicks. Most seabirds gather in large colonies along marine shorelines to breed and raise their young.
TARGET GRADE LEVELS
Lessons were created for grades 4-8 with activities that can be modified for lower or higher grades.
The curriculum consists of seven lessons. The lessons are designed to reinforce and expand the lesson themes, and provide hands-on opportunities for students to investigate and integrate the information they have learned.
THIS CURRICULUM ACCOMPLISHES THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIVES:
• Identify and summarize characteristics of seabirds
• Develop an understanding of the breeding and feeding ecology of seabirds
• Increase the awareness of environmental and human threats to seabirds
• Explore the human use of seabirds
• Introduce students to how and why researchers study seabirds
The curriculum is available for free down-load, below.
The curriculum was designed with rural schools in mind, where teachers may come from outside the community and have little or no understanding of the local ecosystem. Curriculum summary information is also provided in a few Power Points (lessons 1, 2, and 6). These Power Points can be used as teaching aids or substituted for a textbook.
All seven lessons in this curriculum are designed to provide a base level of understanding of seabirds, and a solid introduction to the Seabird Youth Network’s ‘Seabirds and Invasive Species’ curriculum. Lessons are targeted for 4th to 8th grade, but can be tailored for younger or older students. The curriculum aligns to the Next Generation Science Standards and Alaska State Science Standards.