Teaching Suggestions
Leaving the Nest: Summer School for Fledglings


Baby robins are ready to leave the nest when they are about 13 days old. Within 24 hours the nest will be empty. What might you see if you were watching? What does a fledgling need to learn? Summer is school time for baby robins!

Essential Question
What do fledglings need to learn?

Robin: Fledglings Leaving the Nest
Set the Stage

Preview Images
On large chart paper, post the essential question: What do fledglings need to learn? Have students make pre-reading predictions based on details they see in the gallery. Assess students' prior knowledge:

  • When do baby robins leave the nest?
  • What do you think fledglings need to learn?
  • What do mother and father do when fledglings leave?

Revisit for Understanding

1. Mark up the Text
Have students reread the text-only page with a partner, underlining main ideas and circling key words. Challenge them to use the word cards to summarize what they discovered.

2. Create an Observation Guide
Use the chart to explore the characteristics and behaviors of robins at each of these stages: nestling, fledgling, and adult. Examine robin photos and read other resources to collect additional facts. When the chart is complete, adhere it to the inside cover of a field notebook as an observation guide.

3. Assess Understanding
Ask questions to encourage reflective thinking:

  • Why is it important to understand the needs and behaviors of fledglings before and after they leave the nest?
  • How could we help other people learn more about nestlings, fledglings, and adult robins?


Robin: Fledglings Leaving the Nest

Word Cards

Robin: Fledglings Leaving the Nest