A Children’s Guide to Arctic Birds, by Mia Pelletier, illustrated by Danny Christopher (Inhabit Media, 2014)

guide to arctic birdsWhat the book’s about

There are nearly 200 species of birds that nest in the North American Arctic. With its rich, full-color illustrations and simple, fact-filled text, A Children’s Guide to Arctic Birds introduces readers to some of these species. Descriptions of the birds’ physical features, calls, migration patterns, and habits are presented in a fun, accessible format that’s engaging for all older as well as younger readers.

Three Jumpstart Activities for children 1st through 5th grade, by Jessica Young

Jumpstart: If I Were an Arctic Bird (1st-5th grade)

Ask kids to share which Arctic bird from the book they would most like to be and write paragraphs in the first person describing the characteristics and habits they would have as such. They can add illustrations of the birds using pencil and colored pencils, making sure to include some of the features they have described. Projects can be displayed or collated and bound to create a class Arctic bird book.

Jumpstart: Arctic Bird Video (3rd-5th grades)

Have kids work in small groups to write scripts and develop short videos about Arctic birds featured in the book. Each group should include a minimum of ten facts about their chosen bird and present them in an interesting way. Suggest demonstrating birds’ calls or behaviors, showing an illustration of birds’ feet and bills, presenting maps of their migration patterns, or even building models of their nests and eggs.

Jumpstart: Compare and Contrast Arctic Birds (2nd-5th grades)

Kids each choose two birds to study from the book and make a chart comparing and contrasting the birds’ features and other facts. Have them list bird characteristics or facts on lined paper, then create two columns beside the list — one for each of their chosen birds. Kids can then mark “x”s in the columns beside every feature or fact that relates to each bird.

A Longer Activity for children 2nd-5th grades, by Jessica Young

Activity: Name That Arctic Bird 

After learning about the various birds featured in A Children’s Guide to Arctic Birds, kids create and play a team-based challenge game


  • Index cards


Assign pairs or small groups  an Arctic bird, and ask them to make a quiz card, writing the bird’s name and a list of five facts/clues about that bird on one side of an index card while leaving the other side of the card blank. Collect the cards. Divide the class into teams. Pick a card and read the list of clues one at a time. When a team can identify the bird, they can shout out the bird’s name to win a point. If they guess wrong, they must wait to guess again until the next card is drawn from the stack.

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