Bird Nest Lesson Plan

Instructor: Carrin Hahn

Carrin taught 3rd grade for ten years, worked as a learning specialist with K-5 students, and has a Master's degree in Elementary Education.

This lesson will engage students in researching information about bird nests, their locations and materials used to construct them. Students will then apply this knowledge to build one themselves.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the locations of and the materials used in bird nests
  • Create a nest using materials birds would use


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.


  • Habitat
  • Rituals
  • Materials
  • Location
  • Camouflage
  • Incubate


  • Computer with internet for students to use in pairs or individually
  • Paper towel tubes for every student
  • Construction paper
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Yarn
  • Raffia ribbon
  • Fallen leaves (not too dried or they will crumble)
  • Small twigs
  • Sand
  • Styrofoam cups (number depends upon the kinds of nests students choose to make)

Lesson Preparation

  • Before the students start their research, it would be helpful to have a list of birds from which the students can choose. You might want to list birds in your region, or if you want the students to explore more exotic nests and birds, do a search for birds' nests and provide the names of those birds for the students. This preparation will also allow you to see if you will need any other materials for the students to build their nests.
  • The students might like to help you gather leaves and twigs during recess or bring them from home before the project starts.

Lesson Instruction

  • Ask students to tell about any birds' nests they might have in their yards.
  • Find out what the students know about the materials used and the purpose for the nests. Ask what factors into the bird's choice of location for its nest.
  • Pass out the bird names or allow the students to choose from the list of birds.
  • Explain that the students will have some time to research different kinds of birds' nests.

Lesson Activity

Part 1

  • Students will need to take notes on their research. Put the following questions on the board as some of the things the students should address:
    • What kind of bird are you researching?
    • What is the bird's habitat?
    • Who does the nest building?
    • Are there any rituals the bird does to attract a mate?
    • What kinds of things do the birds use to build the nest and why?
    • Where does the bird build the nest and why?
    • How long do the nests last?
    • How do the birds incubate the eggs?
  • Give the students 15-30 minutes to research.

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