Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Weird Birds

Earley, Chris (Author)
Firefly Books 2014. 64 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781770854413 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 598
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Welcome to the strange and wonderful world of birds: birds that sound like a cow, and birds with wrinkly wattles, salt glands or inflated throat sacs. Uniquely, the Palm Cockatoo makes a drumstick out of a branch and attracts a mate by “bang[ing] it against a hollow tree trunk so the sound echoes through its territory.” We learn what the birds eat, where they live and how they are special.

Information is laid out in clear, conversational language: “The skimmer may have the strangest beak in the world.” The bird gallery is populated with little-known avian species such as the “Royal Flycatcher,” “Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater” and “Scarlet Iris.” The Latin name of each bird is written in italics below the English one.

Dominated by a large, colourful nature photograph and a short informative paragraph, each page is devoted to one unusual bird. With lots of surrounding white space, the brightly coloured birds visually pop from the page.

With a small index at the back, this book offers a simple, engaging way to become more aware of the diversity of bird life on our planet.

  •  

    After reading, decide on categories of weird features (e.g. beaks, feathers, behaviour). Sort the birds by these features.

  •  

    Write a monologue reflecting on life as one of these unusual birds. Read it to a partner or the class. 

  •  

    As a group, create a glossary of unfamiliar bird vocabulary from the text. Use resources (dictionary, app) to help you with the definitions.

  •  

    Before reading, do a picture walk and notice the birds’ unusual features. What might be their advantages? Read the descriptions to see if the author gives reasons for the different looks.

  •  

    Create a weird bird of your own and label its body parts. Add some interesting descriptors. 

  •  

    Play a guessing game: describe the physical aspects of one of the birds and have a partner find it in the book.

  •  

    Create two sets of game cards: one with birds' names, the other with interesting facts about them. Play a matching game.

  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts