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Teaching Suggestions
What Do Robins Eat in the Wintertime?
(Back to Slideshow Overview)


Snow covers the frozen soil. Earthworms stay underground.
What do robins eat in the wintertime?

When winter robins are in our backyards, citizen scientists OBSERVE and WONDER: When earthworms are not available, what food will robins find? Where will the robins find water? Explore these questions using the facts and photos in this slideshow and booklet.

Essential Question:
What do robins eat in the wintertime?
Set the Stage for Learning

1. Display the cover. Ask questions to assess prior knowledge:

  • Where are robins in the wintertime?
  • What do you think winter robins eat?
  • How can we help winter robins?


2. Preview images using the Photo Gallery page. On large chart paper, post the essential question: What do robins eat in the wintertime? Have students make pre-reading predictions based on details they see in the photos.

3. Preview the slideshow/booklet using the Headings Handout. Read aloud the title and headings. Have students share pre-reading predictions and questions based on clues revealed in the headings. Save handout for an after-reading activity.


Viewing the Slideshow
As a class read through the pages of the slideshow together, stopping occasionally to spotlight key words and ideas or ask questions. Encourage students to share their questions sparked by the information and images.
Revisit for Understanding

1. Revisit the Headings Handout. Under each heading, have students recall key words and summarize main ideas. Encourage students to reread the text to check accuracy of the words and ideas they recorded on the handout.

2. Look closely at winter robins. Revisit images from the Photo Gallery. Brainstorm fact captions for each photo to describe what students learned about winter robins. Invite them to cut out the photos and use them to create their own booklets about robins in the wintertime.

3. Read with fluency and expression. Pair students. Provide a copy of the text-only page. Invite them to read aloud the text together in a variety of ways. This text page can also be used as an oral reading assessment.

4. Ask Reflective Questions. Encourage readers to think beyond the text with questions like these:

  • Robins migrate, so why are some robins seen in cold, wintry places?
  • Why is winter a very important feeding time for robins?
  • What advantages can you think of for a male to be well-fed and healthy when it comes time for spring migration? For a female?
Wrap Up

1. Observe and Wonder! Take your citizen scientists outside with notebooks and pencils. Invite them to sketch and describe what they observe and wonder.

2. Track Robin Migration With Journey North
As robins spread throughout their breeding range, predict when and where they will travel.



Citizen Scientists:

Share your sightings
and observations
with Journey North.

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