A Perfect Day for an Albatross

A Perfect Day for an Albatross by Caren Loebel-Fried

"A Perfect Day for an Albatross" cover

The A Perfect Day for an Albatross – Teacher’s Guide (8 pages, free download) features activities that target national science, math, writing, and art education standards for grades 1-3. This website provides background information and digital content to complement the printable Guide.

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Supplemental Materials for the Activities in the Guide:

Activity 1:  So Many Nests

Take a look at the Cornell Lab’s NestWatch site for more nest identification tips, including a Clutch Size chart. Show children images of different bird nests and have them guess at who they might belong to. (Don’t be fooled by non-bird nests!)

Activity 2:  Story of the Seabirds

Use this Story Board organizer to create a numbered sequence of Mālie’s story. Invite children to draw and/or write what happens in each square of the organizer, including flashbacks and quotations as a challenge for older students.

Activity 3. See Albatrosses in Action

Have students watch these videos exhibiting different Albatross behaviors. Try and match Mālie’s behaviors to those of these Albatrosses.

Bobbing and Dancing:

Getting up to stretch in the rain:

Preening another Albatross:

Activity 5. Dance Like a ‘Tross

How to Dance Like a ‘Tross (video from Cornell Lab’s YouTube channel)

Activity 7. Giant in the Sky

When making your Albatross wings, make sure to measure using our handy diagram. Be sure to fold the cardboard over and tape it together again to create an “arm pocket,” as seen in the photo below and explained in your guide. Try painting or drawing on the wings as a group to make the experience even more life-like for your students!

Child with wings made from the template in the picture to the right
Wing Template

Activity 9. Retellings and Reenactments

There are many different behaviors occurring in the video below. Have your students recognize and describe these behaviors. Then, they can connect them to Mālie’s behaviors in the story. Drawing these connections and using details from the video will help them to act out their own Albatross greetings afterward!

Laysan Albatross Behavior – (video by Benjamin M Clock from Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library)

Are you or your students interested in learning more about the historically lucky, incredibly long-lived Laysan Albatross?

Learn about these facts and more at All About Birds, where you can discover even more about the Laysan Albatross and over 500 other North American bird species.

Did you know you and your students can help?

  • You can help albatrosses by avoiding unsustainably caught seafood. This includes fish caught by longline fisheries that do not use seabird-safe equipment. The Seafood Watch program offers convenient information and an app about sustainable seafood.
  • You can also help albatrosses by reducing your use of plastics and making sure plastic litter goes into garbage cans. Discarded plastic ends up in the oceans, where albatrosses pick it up and eat it or feed it to their chicks.

National Education Standards

English Language Arts (ELA; Common Core State Standards)

  • Reading Literature
    • 1:RL.1.1, RL.1.2, RL.1.3, RL.1.4, RL.1.6, RL.1.7, RL.1.9, RL.1.10
    • 2:RL.2.1, RL.2.3, RL.2.5, RL.2.7
    • 3:RL.3.1, RL.3.3, RL.3.5
  • Writing
    • 1:W.1.2, W.1.3, W.1.7, W.1.8
    • 2:W.2.2, W.2.3, W.2.7, W.2.8
    • 3:W.3.2.A, W.3.2.B, W.3.2.C, W.3.2.D, W.3.3.A, W.3.3.B, W.3.3.C, W.3.3.D, W.3.4, W.3.7, W.3.8
  • Speaking & Listening
    • 1:SL1.1.A, SL.1.1.B, SL.1.1.C, SL.1.2, SL.1.3, SL.1.4, SL.1.5, SL.1.6
    • 2:SL2.1.A, SL.2.1.B, SL.2.1.C, SL.2.2, SL.2.3, SL.2.4, SL.2.5, SL.2.6
    • 3:SL3.1, SL.3.1.A, SL.3.1.B, SL.3.1.C, SL.3.1.D, SL.3.2, SL.3.4, SL.3.6

Math (MATH; Common Core State Standards)

  • 1:1.MD.A.2
  • 2:2.MD.A.1, 2.MD.A.4

Science (SCI; Next Generation Science Standards)

  • K-2:K-2-ETS1-2
  • 1:1-LS1.A, 1-LS1.B, 1-LS1.D, 1-LS1-2
  • 2:2-LS4-1
  • 3:3-LS2-1; 3-ESS3.B

Art (ART; National Core Art Standards)

  • Theatre:
    • 1:TH:Cr1.1.1.a., TH:Cr1.1.1.c., TH:Cr2-1.a., TH:Cr2-2.b, TH:Cr3.1.1.a., TH:Cr3.1.1.b., TH:Pr4.1.1.a., TH:Pr4.1.1.b., TH:Pr5.1.1.a., TH:Re7.1.1.a., TH:Re8.1.1.a., TH:Re8.1.1.b., TH:Re9.1.1.a., TH:Re9.1.1.b., TH:Re9.1.1.c., TH:Cn10.1.1., TH:Pr6.1.1.a.
    • 2:TH:Cr2-2b., TH:Pr4.1.2.a., TH:Pr4.1.2.b., TH:Re9.1.2.a., TH:Re9.1.2.b., TH:Re9.1.2.c., TH:Re8.1.2.b., TH:Pr6.1.2.a.
  • Visual Art:
    • 1:VA:Cr1.1.1.a., VA:Cr1.2.1.a., VA:Cr2.1.1.a., VA:Cr2.2.1.a., VA:Re.7.2.1.a.,
    • 2:VA:Cr1.2.2.a., VA:Cr2.1.2.a., VA:Cr2.2.2.a., VA:Pr4.1.2.a., VA:Re.7.2.2.a., VA:Cn10.1.2.a.
    • 3:VA:Cr1.1.3a., VA:Cr1.2.2a., VA:Cr2.1.3a.,  VA:Cr2.2.3a., VA:Re.7.2.3a., VA:Cn10.1.3a.
  • Dance:
    • 1:DA:Cr1.1.1.a., DA:Cr1.1.1.b., DA:Pr4.1.1.a., DA:Pr5.1.1.a., DA:Pr5.1.1.b., DA:Pr5.1.1.c., DA:Pr6.1.1.a., DA:Pr6.1.1.b., DA:Re.7.1.1.a., DA:Re8.1.1.a., DA:Cn10.1.1.a., DA:Cn10.1.1.b., DA:Cr2.1.1.b.
    • 2:DA:Cr1.1.2.a., DA:Cr1.1.2.b., DA:Pr5.1.2.a., DA:Pr5.1.2.b., DA:Pr5.1.2.c., DA:Pr6.1.2.a., DA:Pr6.1.2.b., DA:Re.7.1.2.a, DA:Re8.1.2.a., DA:Cr2.1.2.b
    • 3:DA:Cr1.1.3.a., DA:Re8.1.3.a., DA:Cr2.1.3.b.