Free Materials For Teachers

Image©2008 ABS Photo of dark feathers and flying seagullsFeathers is a science activity explaining how birds and people use feathers. Movies let students see close-up views of birds in flight, a diving bird, and penguins walking about on the ice. Then photos of many different feathers challenge students to guess which bird they belong to. Each feather photo leads to a page with a photo and movie of the bird.

Birds and their feathers used include common varieties such as ducks and Canadian geese, and more exotic birds such as the emu. Besides being a nice introduction to a unit on birds, Feathers could be a starter for a discussion on diversity. The vocabulary is approximately third grade, but the content would be appropriate for older students reading at this level. There is also a version with a simpler vocabulary and sentence structure which would be suitable for grade 1-2 level readers.

Fully Interactive Versions

The Clicker 5® and Classroom Suite® versions of Feathers begin as a straight-line narrative which leads to a menu page. On the menu page, students guess the identity of birds portrayed as outlines. A set of buttons display the photos of various feathers, and students can click these in any order to see what bird the feathers belong to. The Clicker 5 version also includes 2 pop-up grids that tell a student more about certain topics and there is a vocabulary pop-up grid to define new vocabulary.

There is a comprehension test for the Classroom Suite version. The Classroom Suite version and its test have custom IntelliKeys® overlays attached. There are also Dynavox® versions of the overlays so that a student could control this activity and the test from a Dynavox AAC device. See the Special Needs Access section on the System Reqs page for information on controlling the Classroom Suite version from PRC devices.

Simple Straight-line Version

A simplified vocabulary makes the My Own Bookshelf® version of Feathers easier for younger readers. In this straight-line version, students see the wide variety of birds and feathers through photos and movies. There is a test on Feathers to run in Test Me Score Me®.

Printable Version

The PDF version of Feathers includes the text at the higher vocabulary level, is presented as a straight-line story, and lacks the movies. It can be printed or used onscreen.

Application needed: Versions for Classroom Suite, Clicker 5, My Own Bookshelf and Test Me Score Me, and Acrobat Reader.
Subject area: Reading, Science.
Level: K-1, 2-3.


Printable Activities

Feathers.pdf (5.2 MB) Feathers activity to print. No movies. Acrobat Reader.

Clicker 5 (37.2 MB) Feathers activity in Clicker 5 MAC. Has QuickTime movies. (42.8 MB) Feathers activity in Clicker 5 WIN. Has AVI (Indeo compression) movies.

Classroom Suite (46.7 MB) Feathers book and test activities for Classroom Suite v.3 or later. Custom IntelliKeys overlays attached. (600 KB) Feathers activities overlays saved as Dynavox package files.

SoftTouch (37.8 MB) folders with Feathers book and movies to import into My Own Bookshelf. (10.7) Test on Feathers story using clip art for answers. Requires Test Me Score Me.


FeathersMatchCards.pdf (1.7 MB) PDF file with match cards to print and cut apart to create off-computer activities about Feathers. Each card has a photo of the bird on one end and its feathers on the other. (3.4 MB) Collection of photos from Feathers in GIF and JPEG formats. Includes all the bird and feather photos plus the bird outline background. To preview the collection, click here.

August 2nd, 2008 at 6:11 pm


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