Bird Migration


Idaho State Standards

Here are correlations to the Idaho State Language and Math standards and to the Idaho State Science Standards. For more information about the overall standards, see the complete Idaho Content Standards for Science, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the alignment between Idaho and NGSS Science Standards. You may also access the Idaho English Language Arts/Literacy Standards and Mathematics Standards.


Third Grade

ELA/Literacy 3.RS.DR.2

Read a series of texts organized around a variety of conceptually related topics to build knowledge about the world. (These texts should be at a range of complexity levels so students can read the texts independently, with peers, or with modest support.)

Suggested Lesson

Write a short report about a migrating bird.

Fourth Grade

ELA/Literacy 4.RC.L.5

Use evidence from literature to demonstrate understanding of grade-level texts.

Suggested Lesson

Use the book, On the Wing: American Birds in Migration by Carol Lerner and compare its maps and diagrams to the text to clarify details of the book.

Fifth Grade

ELA/Literacy 5.ODC.OC1

Engage in collaborative discussions about grade-level topics and texts with peers by carrying out assigned roles; making comments and posing and responding to questions that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on others’ remarks; and reviewing key ideas expressed and drawing conclusions considering the discussion.

Suggested Lesson

Discuss together in class how migrating birds might know when to migrate, where to go, how to get there, and survival skills they'll need along the way.



Math K.CC.B.4

Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.

Suggested Lesson

Be a birdwatcher. Go outside and count the number of birds you see flying overhead during a set period of time.

Third Grade

Math 3.MD.B.4

Generate measurement data by measuring lengths of objects using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Record and show the data by making a line plot (dot plot), where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units— whole numbers, halves, or fourths.

Suggested Lesson

Using a ruler and a map of a migration route, measure the round trip distance of a bird species. After determining your map's scale, calculate the distance of the full trip.

Sixth Grade

Math 6.EE.C.9

Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write equations to represent the relationship between the two quantities. Analyze the relationship using graphs and tables and relate these to the equations. Include an understanding of independent and dependent variables.

Suggested Lesson

Create a table comparing bird wingspans and distances flown during migration. Determine if there is a relationship.



Life Sciences K-LS-1.1

Use observations to describe how plants and animals are alike and different in terms of how they live and grow.

Supporting Content

All animals need food in order to live and grow. They obtain their food from plants or from other animals. Different foods are needed by different animals.

Earth and Space Sciences K-ESS-2.1

Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals and the places they live.

Supporting Content

Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need.

First Grade

Life Sciences 1-LS-1.1

Design and build a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

Supporting Content

Animals have body parts that capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival. Animals respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek and take in food.

Life Sciences 1-LS-1.2

Obtain information to identify patterns of behavior in parents and offspring that help offspring survive

Supporting Content

Adult animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.

Second Grade

Life Sciences 2-LS-2.1

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Supporting Content

There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. Emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.

Third Grade

Life Sciences 3-LS-2.1

Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

Supporting Content

Being part of a group helps animals obtain food and cope with changes.

Life Sciences 3-LS-3.2

Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

Supporting Content

Interactions with the environment affect the characteristics that organisms develop.

Fifth Grade

Life Sciences 5-LS-2.2

Construct an argument with evidence for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

Supporting Content

Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the animals and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

Life Sciences 5-LS-2.3

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals living there may change.

Supporting Content

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there. When the environment changes in ways that affect a place's physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of food and water, some animals survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.

Sixth Grade - Middle School

Life Sciences MS-LS-2.1

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

Supporting Content

Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. Emphasis is on cause and effect relationships between resources and growth of individual organisms and the numbers of organisms in ecosystems during periods of abundant and scarce resources.

Life Sciences MS-LS-2.5

Construct an argument supported by evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Supporting Content

Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in its populations.