Way of the Wedgie
The classroom activity package teaches STEM+Art skills through the eyes of a Hawaiian seabird, Wedge-tailed Shearwater or ‘Ua‘u kani, trying to survive in urban Honolulu. For grades 6 – 8 with suggested modifications for grades 9 – 12.
These four lessons were updated in June 2020 and comprise activities that use inquiry-based science instruction, aligned to standards for grades 6 – 8 with suggested modifications for grades 9 – 12, to teach students about how biologists and artists work together to study and protect these native Hawaiian seabirds.
1. Studying Seabirds on Land: Population Monitoring
Students will learn about the shearwater life cycle, and study their growing populations.
2. Restoring a Seabird Colony: Habitat Restoration
Students will use real data to monitor shearwater population trends and survivorship.
3. Staying Alive: A Game of Survival
Students will experience the challenges shearwaters face to reach adulthood.
4. Designing a Nest: Conservation Solutions
Students will design and test different shearwater nesting shelters (new 2020).
Introduction - Meet a Seabird
This presentation introduces seabirds and the star of the lessons – the Wedge-tailed Shearwater.
The document lists the STEAM and literacy lesson package standards.
Studying Seabirds on Land: Population Monitoring
In this lesson, students will graph Wedge-tailed Shearwater egg and chick counts, examine how the population has changed since 2009, and evaluate population growth over time. Students will also investigate the Wedge-tailed Shearwater life cycle, and will calculate the reproductive success of the colony, using real monitoring data for eggs and chicks.
Restoring a Seabird Colony: Habitat Renovation
In this lesson, students will graph wedge-tailed shearwater reproductive success from different types of nests, and will examine how the number of nests has changed over time in the Preserve. Students will also evaluate the different nest types used at the Preserve, by rating their ability to mitigate different threats to shearwaters.
Staying Alive: A Game of Survival
In this lesson, students will experience the life of the Wedge-tailed Shearwater trying to stay alive and raise a chick. Students will use a simulation game to rate the impacts from the various threats faced by shearwater eggs, chicks and adults. They will use this information to design management actions to mitigate the most important threats to the shearwater population.
Designing a Nest: Conservation Solutions
In this lesson, students will design a nest and construct a model applying what they know about nest preferences and threats. In addition students will test how well their model functions and elaborate by analyzing real air temperatures inside the shelters.