Let’s Save the Loons!

Summary

Students will learn about the bird featured on the Voyageurs National Park Quarter: the loon. Students will illustrate ways park visitors can help protect the loon.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will learn about the bird featured on the Voyageurs National Park Quarter: the loon. Students will learn ways people can help protect the loon.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Art

Grades

  • K
  • 1st

Class Time

  • Sessions: Two
  • Session Length: 30-45 minutes
  • Total Length: 46-90 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Environments
  • Animals

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Obverse (front)
  • Loons
  • State Animal
  • Conservation

Materials

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "Voyageurs National Park Quarter" page
  • Make copies of the "Let's Save the Loons!" worksheet (1 per student)
  • Locate text(s) or multimedia resource(s) that give information about the loon, including https://www.nps.gov/voya/learn/nature/common-loon.htm

Worksheets and Files

Lesson Steps

Session 1

  1. Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters Program for background information. Explain to students that the back of a coin is called the "reverse," and "obverse" is another name for the front.
  2. With the students, examine the Voyageurs National Park Quarter reverse. Locate the site on a class map and note its position in relation to your school's location. Ask the students to tell you what they see in the image on the quarter's reverse. Explain that the coin depicts Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. Point out the bird on the coin. Ask if anyone can name the bird. Record the class's guesses on chart paper.
  3. Explain that the bird is the common loon, the state bird of Minnesota.
  4. Tell the class they will be learning about loons. Introduce the supplementary text/materials and read/watch them together. Answer any questions along the way.
  5. Distribute a piece of drawing paper to each student. Direct the students to draw a picture of a loon based on the information from the supplementary text/materials.
  6. Have the students share their drawings with the class.

Session 2

  1. Review the previous session and discussion about loons. Remind students that loons are one of the many animals at Voyageurs National Park.
  2. Explain that loons need help from humans so they can continue to build nests and raise their young at the park. Heavy rain, wind, and waves can affect the water levels and harm loon nests. Also, humans can harm loon nests by parking their boats on top of the nest or by using fishing tackle with lead in it that, if swallowed, can cause the birds to get sick.
  3. Ask the class for ideas on how people can protect loons. Record the ideas on chart paper.
  4. Review the four ways people at Voyageurs National Park can protect loons. Record the following on chart paper, with the title "How to Protect Loons":
    1. Slow down your boat.
    2. Make sure your boat will not be parked on a loon nest.
    3. If you see a loon nest, report it to park staff.
    4. When fishing, use lead-free tackle.
  5. Distribute a "Let's Save the Loons!" worksheet to each student. Explain to the students that they are to illustrate one of the ways to save loons from the list above and write (or have someone help them write) which one they chose.
  6. Allow time for students to complete their drawings.
  7. Have the students share their work with the class.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to use a scribe to complete their worksheets.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students learn about another animal at Voyageurs National Park and complete a second worksheet about that animal.
  • Have students learn about their state bird.
  • Have students create a poster from their "Let's Save the Loons" worksheet and hang it up in a public place to raise awareness.

Assess

  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students' worksheets to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.K Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Standards:

  • W.K.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of "how-to" books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).
  • W.K.8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.K.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.1 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 1
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Standards:

  • W.1.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of "how-to" books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).
  • W.1.8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.1.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Standards:

  • RI.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
  • RI.K.8. With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.K.9. With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 1
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Standards:

  • RI.1.7. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
  • RI.1.8. Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Craft and Structure

Standards:

  • RI.K.4. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RI.K.5. Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.
  • RI.K.6. Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

National Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Literature
Grade(s): Grades K–12

Standards:

  • Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12

Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines.
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.