This is an fun and engaging lab that gets students thinking about how birds' beaks are adapted to their prey! Students use models of bird beaks and see how well they can pick up various prey. They consider how the shape of the bird beak is related to its prey. Students also create graphs of their results.
Included is the lab report for the students and a teacher notes/suggestion page for completing the lab and grading it.
This lab activity corresponds with NGSS standard MS-LS3-4.
This could also be a good connecting activity between science and math (counting, estimating, and graphing).
I complete this activity in 2-3 one-hour class periods. I use it with sixth graders but it can easily be adapted to many grade levels.
Materials Needed: Paper Plates, Skewers or Chopsticks, Clothes Pins, Craft Sticks, Spoons, Rice, Beans, String cut into worm lengths, macaroni noodles, cups, timer or stopwatch
Topics: Birds, Adaptations, Animals, Vertebrates, Scientific Method, Lab Report, Graphing, Bar Graphs, Evolution, Darwin, Warm-Blooded Endotherms, Science Experiment Investigation, Life Science, Biology, Predator and Prey