A science reading lesson on different kinds of birds.


A science lesson on the differences between various types of birds. Includes printable teaching reading comprehension lesson worksheets.

Suggested Grades:

Adaptable to 1st Grade - 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade - 4th Grade



By completing this lesson, students will learn about different kinds of birds, and in the process demonstrate their reading comprehension skills, including reading strategies, inference, literal meaning, and critical analysis.


Teachers -- Use this passage to test your students' reading comprehension and understanding.









Print the All About Birds reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).


Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions.  Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.



Find a book similar to an Audubon bird book and have the children identify the parts of the bird and which family they belong in according to their claws and beaks.


Then, ask them to look at birds when they are with their parents and tell them why type of bird it is based on what they do such as climb, perch, scratch, prey, wade or swim.


Lesson Excerpt

There are about 8,500 different kinds of birds. Birds are similar to mammals, which are creatures like you and me. Of course, there are quite a few differences between birds and regular mammals. A bird has feathers and wings. They use their wings to fly. However, some birds such as the ostrich or the penguin do not fly because they do not know how.

Under all the feathers and inside the wing the bird has muscles. The muscles inside the wing are attached to the breastbone of the bird and are known as flight muscles. These are like the muscles that you have in your arms. Thanks to these muscles birds can flap their wings and fly if they know how.

Along with their wings, which are a replacement of arms or front legs for other animals, birds also have two legs. If you have ever seen a bird sitting on a tree branch you have seen them using their legs. They are able to perch themselves on branches or hop from limb to limb by using their legs.

Flying in the Air

Not all birds are the same. There are birds that can fly and birds that will never be able to fly. Whether they can fly or not depends on the type of bird. Some birds swim and others walk around like mammals with feathers. All birds have a similar structure with thin bones. This allows a bird to appear very light. This helps many species of birds to fly easily.

If you look at most birds you can see their shapes are thinner in the front, around their heads, and larger in the middle, around their stomachs. If a bird is going to fly, the first step is for them to jump into the air. This jump gives them a little push to get them moving in the sky which they need to fly. Once the bird is in the air they start flapping their wings which helps the bird move up in the air and go in whatever direction they choose. In order to turn from one direction to another the bird uses their tail like someone might steer a car. Moving their tail one way or another will change their direction to get them where they want to go. If the bird is trying to land they will spread their wings out because this will help them to stop. (continued...)




All About Birds

Print this science worksheet for this lesson.

 Includes reading passage, questions, and answer sheet.





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