Introduce the selection by visiting Journey North?s Day-By-Day
Hummingbird Nest Gallery to see photographs of a hummingbird
nest. As students click on each photo to reveal how a couple of
baby hummers grow day to day, read aloud the accompanying photo
captions/text. (Building Background Knowledge)
List the following questions on chart paper. Invite students to
make predictions and ask questions prior to reading the article.
1. How big is a hummingbird?s nest? Based on the photo that
featured the tape measure (Day 4: Not Very Big!), what is the approximate
diameter of a hummingbird?s nest?
2. Why do you think hummingbirds lay exactly two eggs?
3. Why do you think hummingbirds build their nests out of lichens,
bud scales, thistle, dandelion down, and spider silk? Why are these
materials perfect for hummer nests?
4. How much time does a mother hummingbird spend incubating her
5. What are two things a newly hatched hummingbird can do?
Create a chart to organize student-generated questions about
a hummingbird?s nest-making process. Write the topic on chart paper:
A Hummingbird?s Nest-Making Process.
List five categories below the topic: Who? Where? When? Why?
and How? Use the chart prior to reading the
selection to record students? questions and predictions. (Making
Predictions and Asking Questions to Set a Purpose for Reading)
Introduce the phrase, Nesting Phenology. Invite students
to scan the subheadings in the reading selection: Territorial
Defense, Nest Building, Egg Laying, Incubating Eggs, Brooding and
Feeding Nestlings, and Taking Care of Fledglings. Ask
students: Based on the headings, what do you think "Nesting
Phenology" means? What will the focus of this reading selection
be? What kinds of facts do you think will be revealed in this article?
(Scanning the Text for Clues)
Hummingbird Nesting Phenology."
Encourage students to "mark up the text" by
circling unfamiliar words, underlining key words and phrases, and
writing notes in the margins. Invite them to underline sentences
that reveal answers to the preview questions.
Revisit the text to answer questions listed prior to reading. Ask
questions to facilitate students? work: Which questions were
answered by details in the text? What facts did the article reveal
about the nesting phenology of hummingbirds? Invite students
to generate more questions for further research. (Rereading for
Have students reread the selection with a partner. Invite them to
sequence the steps in a hummingbird?s nesting phenology using facts
from the article. Have students summarize (orally or in writing)
the key ideas from the text using the sequenced facts. (Sequencing
Events Described in the Text, Summarizing Main Ideas and Details
in the Text)
the text for math connections. List the following data on a chart:
15 meters apart
2-3 times a season
2.5 ? 6 grams
students to revisit the text to find out the facts connected with
each of the items listed on the chart. Encourage students to share
their understanding of meters, grams, and percentages. Ask questions
to assess students? understanding of the facts that include the
would you describe 15 meters apart?
What is the range of days in 3?4 months?
About how many hours or minutes is the same as 75% of the daylight?
What objects are measured in grams?
What objects weigh about 2.5-6 grams?
What object might weigh 0.5 grams? What fraction has the same
value as 0.5 grams?
Journaling Questions (Making Inferences and Drawing
1. How do you think the nest-making process of a hummingbird differs
from other birds that build nests?
2. When a baby hummingbird hatches, its egg is papery and thin.
Why do you think the hummingbird egg is different from a chicken?s
Making Connections: Nest Sweet Nest
1. Read about the robins? nests in a related reading selection:
American Robin: Build
a Robin's Nest. Create a Venn diagram
to compare and contrast facts about the nest-making process of hummingbirds
and robins. (Making Text-to-Text Connections)
2. Read other articles and books about the nest-making process of
hummers and other birds. Related Reading Selection: About
Eagle Nests. What other facts about nests did you discover?
Compare a hummingbird?s nest to an eagle?s nest. (Making Text-to-Text
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.
(Identify Text Structures)
Authors make decisions about how to present information to readers.
They choose from a variety of structures to organize facts. Have
students identify which of the following text structures can be
found in the reading selection. Encourage them to give examples
from the text to support their answers.
Chronological/Sequence: (Time/Order) Chronological articles
reveal events in a sequence from beginning to end. Words that signal
chronological structures include: first, then, next, finally, and
specific dates and times.
Cause/Effect: Informational texts often describe cause and
effect relationships. They describe events and identify or imply
Problem/Solution: The text introduces a problem and describes
Compare/Contrast: Authors use comparisons to describe ideas
to readers. Similes, metaphors, and analogies are used in compare/contrast
Description: Sensory details help readers visualize information.
Authors paint pictures for readers by describing sights, sounds,
smells, textures, and temperatures.
Directions: How-to texts frame the information in a series
of directions. Nonfiction selections that include step-by-step instructions
for an activity are examples of this organizational framework.
Question/Answer: Some information texts reveal facts by listing
questions followed by answers.