Using actual wildlife injury data from a local wildlife rescue center, students learn what animal species have been injured and the causes of injury. Students use spreadsheet software to sort, organize, and evaluate their findings for recommendations to reduce human-caused injury to wildlife. Students prepare and present a summary of their findings and recommendations to the local Audubon Society, The Humane Society, neighborhood associations, and other interested groups. At the end of each public presentation, students gather public reaction to the data and collect ideas on how to reduce injury to wildlife. These recommendations are compiled into a newsletter and wiki for dissemination to a wider audience.
View how a variety of student-centered assessments are used in the What Happened to Robin? Unit Plan. These assessments help students and teachers set goals; monitor student progress; provide feedback; assess thinking, processes, performances, and products; and reflect on learning throughout the learning cycle.
Contact a local Audubon Society* center to arrange a field trip to the center and to inquire about working together to develop a service project for the center. In the sample project, students sorted, organized, and analyzed five years worth of data on bird injury. This was a much needed service that the staff at the Wildlife Care Center did not have time to do.
Have students prepare science journals to take notes, make observations, and reflect on questions and discussions throughout the unit.
Introduction to Birds
Urban Wildlife Issues
Revisit the Essential Question
To complete the unit, have students reflect on the Essential Question, How can I help protect urban wildlife? again in their journals. Encourage students to look back at their initial responses and reflect on the direction the unit took them. Have them consider how the information and experiences they had have affected their initial thinking. Encourage discussion among class members to elaborate, share, and expand on their thinking.
Much of this work can be done at a variety of academic levels. As needed, partner students for computer work with technically skilled students.
Special Needs Students
Ginny Rosenberg Stern participated in the Intel® Teach Program, which resulted in this idea for a classroom project. A team of teachers expanded the plan into the example you see here. Stern's classroom was featured in An Innovation Odyssey, a collection of stories of technology in the classroom, Story 278: Bird's Eye View.
This unit is aligned to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.