Idea for Use in the Classroom

Human population growth has led to increasing agricultural and urban development. For example, buildings are now taller and more numerous in cities,  and deforestation is removing large areas of trees in forests. These changes in the ecosystem make the resources that birds rely on, such as food, shelter, and water, harder to come by. When these changes are made in migratory birds’ stopover regions, it can be devastating to the bird population. 

Kickoff a discussion of birds and migration by asking students, Why would a migrating bird need to make any stops during their long journey? (possible answers: to rest, eat and refuel, and weather out storms) As a class, discuss how these stopover points are critical for birds’ migratory success. Connect to the video by having students identify areas of migration, types of migrating birds, and issues with migrations. Have students read the encyclopedic entry on migration to deepen their understanding of why animals migrate.

Have students construct an oral or written argument supported by evidence and scientific reasoning to support a solution to reduce the destruction of stopover regions for one type of migratory bird.

Have students work in groups to come up with an argument using the following structure:

  • Claim: a one-sentence answer to the question “Why should we try to protect migratory birds’ stopover regions?”
  • Evidence: scientific data used to support the claim (this could come from a text, from Kristen Ruegg’s video, or from additional resources)
  • Reasoning: uses scientific ideas to explain how or why the data counts as evidence to support the claim

reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.


to state as the truth.


destruction or removal of forests and their undergrowth.


data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.


movement of a group of people or animals from one place to another.