Reading and Writing Connections for the Lesson
About Bald Eagle Nests

Reading Writing Selection
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Reading Strategies:

  • Connect to Prior Knowledge/Build Background Knowledge
  • Ask Questions and Make Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading
  • Make Inferences and Draw Conclusions
  • Summarize Main Idea and Details
  • Visualize Ideas from Text: Sensory Details and Comparison
  • (About Reading Strategies)

aerie, incubate, breeding, conifers, coniferous, snags, camouflage, meters, wintering grounds, scarce, canopy, snags, crown, talons, interweave, fibers, sprigs, repellent, camouflage


• To introduce the selection, activate students’ prior knowledge: “Imagine you are a researcher who has just been hired to find facts about eagles’ nests. If you were about to read a book about eagles’ nests, what kinds of information would you expect to find? What questions would a reader have about eagles’ nests? What fascinating facts would you like to research about eagles’ nests?” Create a class chart of possible research questions.

• Read “About Eagle Nests, ” the related selection “Bald Eagle Nests” by Peter Nye, and other selections with facts about eagles and their nests.

Library Lookout: Find and read “Strange Nests” by Ann Shepard Stevens. Millbrook Press Inc., 1998, ISBN 0-7613-0413-4
This illustrated picture book examines the nests and nest-building habits of eleven birds common to the continental United States, as well as unusual nests that have been built when normal nesting materials were in short supply. Includes facts about the bald eagles’ nests.

• Revisit the selection by creating an informational chart that organizes details from the selection into fact categories: Who? Where? What? When? Why? How? Have students work with a partner to reread the selection for facts to write in each of these categories.

• Encourage students to write hypotheses for questions that were not answered in the selection. Invite students to research facts for unanswered questions.

• Revisit the selection by highlighting words and phrases that describe “Where Eagles Can Be Found.” Have students identify and list the words and phrases that describe places.

• Encourage students to locate Saskatchewan and other places mentioned in the selection on a map or globe.

• Invite students to create illustrations that depict eagles and their nests.

Journaling Questions: Why do eagles put greenery in their nests?

Making Connections: Describe your bedroom. How would you describe its “interior design?” What kind of a housekeeper are you? How often do you clean your bedroom?

Evaluation (Readers examine author’s strategies)
1. How did the author help you focus on the main ideas and details described in this selection? (Paragraphs of text highlighted with boldface headlines.)
2. Reread the lead sentences of each paragraph. What kinds of leads did the author use in this article?
3. Authors help readers learn new facts by making comparisons. Identify parts of the selection that try to help readers connect facts by making comparisons.
4. What sensory words and phrases did the author use to help readers visualize eagles and their nests?

Writer’s Workshop
  • Narrative
    Create a Story Elements graphic organizer. Brainstorm ideas writers could use to compose fictional stories about eagles. Here are some examples to help you get started: Characters: a mature male eagle, a juvenile eaglet; Settings: a new nest in a large tree, a thirty-four year old nest in Ohio; Problems: unfriendly “neighbors,” foul fumes, crowded conditions/density issues. Use ideas from the reading selection to brainstorm ideas for your Story Elements Chart.
  • Descriptive
    Write a magazine article that describes the largest eagle nest ever found. In your description include similes, metaphors, and sensory details to help readers visualize the record-breaking nest found in Florida.
  • Expository
    Write a paragraph that explains how eagles build a nest.
  • Creative/Persuasive Write a humorous letter to an eagle persuading him to clean his nest. Use details from the reading selection to get ideas for your letter..