To prepare teachers to address resource conservation and species protection issues highlighted by the passenger pigeon extinction, P3 will develop and distribute a five-lesson curriculum for use in high schools throughout the country.
Learning ways to help prevent human-caused extinctions
The curriculum will support P3’s overall goals by exploring how human activity impacts other species and motivating students to take actions that promote biodiversity and prevent human-caused extinctions. The main themes of conservation, habitat preservation, and species protection will be explored through the study of the passenger pigeon’s story, including use of several videos from the P3 film, From Billions to None. Students will connect the story of the passenger pigeon to contemporary, regional examples of species conservation efforts and explore service learning and citizen science opportunities in their regions.
P3 will also encourage teachers to engage their students in marking the centenary of the passenger pigeon extinction by providing lessons about biodiversity and changes to ecosystems that intertwine the story of the passenger pigeon with contemporary issues.
Curricula based on the most up-to-date research and standards
The curriculum and lessons developed as part of P3 will make use of the most up-to-date research in, and standards of, effective science education. This will include use of the National Research Council’s recently released Framework for K-12 Science Education, and, when available, the Next Generation Science Standards (expected for release in 2012).
This material will also make use of the P3 exhibit components that will be displayed around the country and available for free downloading on this website.
Lesson Plan #1 for 5th-10th grades: What is the Passenger Pigeon? (Provider: Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)
In this lesson, students are introduced to the story of the passenger pigeon and the role that humans played in this story. Students use video, images, and nonfiction texts to learn about the size of passenger pigeon flocks and their impacts on the people who witnessed them. Students make personal connections to the passenger pigeon and its story.
Link for lesson plan: Lesson 1: What is the Passenger Pigeon?
Link for Rock Pigeon Image: Click Here
Link for Passenger Pigeon Image: Click Here
Lesson Plan #2 for 5th-10th grades: State Historical Records (Provider: Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)
In this lesson, students watch a video clip from the From Billions to None documentary to learn about the history of the passenger pigeon in North America and about the institutions that have preserved the record of these amazing birds. Students then analyze historical data from their own state and discuss passenger pigeon movements and population changes throughout the state.
Link for lesson plan: Lesson 2: State Historical Records
Link for Historical Record Cards: Click Here Link for Historical Record Cards Template[Powerpoint]: Click Here Link for Illinois County Map: Click Here
Lesson Plan #3 for 9th-12th grades: Modeling Population Decline (Provider: Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)
In this lesson, students participate in a simple simulation illustrating one factor that contributed to the decline of passenger pigeon populations. Students discuss the accuracies and limitations of the model and then develop their own models that show how multiple factors have combined to cause a decrease in the population of a local organism of conservation concern.
Link for lesson plan: Lesson 3: Modeling Population Decline
(Return to Top)