Angry Bird Lab Success!

The continuation of the  "Angry Bird" Adaptation lab was a hit today!!!!  My fourth graders are learning about environments, and how animals (specifically birds) have adaptations to help them survive in their environment.  We have done a few lessons prior to this, like the popular Bird Beak Game, and an Owl Pellet Dissection to learn all about adaptations.  

Here's what the lesson looks like (I've done day one and two so far...but there are three days total):

Day One:   For the start of this fun "Angry Bird"-themed lab, I gave students a 'head, body, legs' (click for freebie) template and had them design a bird.  My only instructions were that they needed to be able to justify why the bird had certain body parts for its survival.  For example, if the bird had a hooked beak, the student needed to be able to tell me that it eats meat.  Or if a student drew a bird with webbed feet, they needed to be able to tell me that it swam.  Before students began designing their birds, I gave them ONE EXTRA INSTRUCTION: They needed to give their bird ONE "Angry Bird" superhero power....this is where students got really excited.  We talked all about the Angry Birds and the different "adaptations" they have (i.e. the black bird can become a bomb).  I told students that the superhero power could be anything that didn't harm the bird.

After students had designed and colored their birds, I collected them for the next lab period.

Day Two:  This was today's lab, and oh boy, were the kids excited!!!  

When students walked in the class, they saw brown lunch bags stapled closed with a giant pig head drawn on the bag.  I told students that we had a "Pig-livery" and that we needed to open the bags.  Students opened the bags up to find a whole bunch of cut up bird parts from the templates in day one (I had taken them all home and cut them apart, and then sorted them into the eight bags).  Students went crazy for this!!!

I told them that they would be completing an "Angry Bird" competition, moving through four levels (using my four level cards) and building one new "Angry Bird" Adapted bird.  I gave each table a poster board, a star chart (they earned stars after completing each level) and I let them go for it!!!  

Here's a picture of one new bird being assembled from the "bag of body parts":

Here's what the four levels look like:
Level One:  Build a bird, give the bird a name
Level Two: Design and environment, labeling living and nonliving components
Level Three: "Tweet" about the bird, using the "Angry Bird Profile" sheet
Level Four: Final check, and presentation level

I'm excited to continue this lab next week and I will post pictures back of the final product!

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