Teaching Suggestions
Hummingbirds Spring Into Action
Claiming, Defending, Courting, and Nesting
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When hummingbirds return to their breeding grounds in the spring, there are important things to do. Males arrive first to claim and defend a territory. When females arrive, courtship begins. Everything leads to nesting and breeding.

Essential Question
What do hummingbirds do when they return to their breeding grounds?

slide show

1. Before Reading: Start With Wonder

Use the photo gallery as a preview to the slideshow. As students look at the images, ask them to predict what hummingbirds do when they return to their breeding grounds in the spring.

Use a recording of the sound of the male rubythroat's wings during his courtship dive to inspire curiousity about hummingbird behavior. *During the courtship dive, his wings beat up to 200 times per second.

Gallery of images
Photo Gallery

2. During Reading

View the slideshow together, stopping occasionally to ask questions and spotlight main ideas. Encourage students to share responses sparked by the information and images.


3. After Reading

Create a Spring Storyboard
Invite students to tell the story of hummingbird arrival by making a storyboard. Have them use the storyboard to describe what hummingbirds are doing when they return to their breeding grounds:

  • Males Claiming Territory
  • Males Defending Territory
  • Courting and Mating
  • Females Building Nest