Harbor and Sprout

Exploration Nature Study


These lessons are included in our Exploration Elementary Unit. 

Discover animal migrations in this in-depth, engaging nature study by Jacqueline Marr of Books and Willows. This study includes four modules:

Module 1: Why do Animals Migrate?

  • Learn what makes migration different than other animal movements.
  • Discuss the three main reasons why animals migrate.
  • Explore a few of the greatest migration journeys including those of wildebeests, dragonflies, and Christmas Island's red crabs.
  • Compare and map the journeys of the Arctic tern, monarch butterfly, porcupine, caribou herd, and more!

Module 2: Preparing for the Journey

  • Discover the internal and external cues that signal an animal it's time to migrate.
  • Learn the different ways birds prepare for migration including hyperphagia, transforming organs, exercise, and molting.
  • Track and graph changes in sunlight over the next few months.
  • Follow our tips for birdwatching and keep an eye out for migration behaviors in your new Birds Nature Journal.
Module 3: Finding Their Way
  • Learn the different ways migration is studied including banding, tracking devices, and stable isotope analysis.
  • Discover the strategies animals use to navigate including magnetic fields, star patterns, and more! Make a DIY compass.
  • Celebrate the amazing journeys of spawning salmon. Sculpt one from clay.
  • Create your own mental map of a familiar route.
  • Learn how to track Right Whale populations!

Module 4: New Paths

  • Discuss how our human footprint impacts animal migrations.
  • Explore the challenges skyscrapers, highways, city lights, and shipping routes pose to migrating animals and solutions.
  • Learn simple things YOU can do to help our migrating friends.
  • Create your own hummingbird feeder and bird-friendly window decals.
  • Complete the Highway Bridge Pass STEM Challenge.

This study may be completed over the course of one month with one module per week, or more quickly or slowly depending on personal preference. This is a digital download and files will be delivered via email upon purchase. Enjoy your adventure!