On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bob Marstall
The On Gull Beach – Teacher’s Guide features a variety of 10 activities that target national science, English, mathematics, and art education standards for grades PreK-2. This website provides summary background information, along with digital content that complements the printable guide.
Supplementary Materials for the Activities in the Guide:
Activity 1: Discover Gulls!
Check out the videos below from the Macaulay Library to look at the varying behaviors of these birds. Challenge students by asking things like: What are the birds doing? Why are they behaving this way?
Activity 2: Star Toss
Take a look at this video to see the relationship between gulls and starfish. Please note that although this is not a Herring Gull, it is typical gull behavior.
Activity 4: Fluffed Up Feathers
BirdNote provides a kid-friendly podcast that discusses bird behaviors and functions, including insulation.
Activity 5: Stash the Trash
Pollution and littering have become a big problem for marine animals, including gulls. Everyday, animals can become sick or die because they mistake trash for food. Ask your students:
- How does trash end up on beaches and in oceans? (Trash can be littered there, or can be blown by the wind to that area.)
- How can we stop this from happening? (People can make a group effort to clean beaches, recycle materials, and not litter.)
- Why do animals mistake trash for food? (Sometimes trash looks like food to them. For example, a metal tin can look like fish scales, or small wrappers can look like tiny fish or insects.)
A great way to start researching the threats that gulls and other marine life face can be done by starting here.
Activity 6: Can You Hear the Ocean?
Encourage kids to close their eyes and listen to any of the following soundscapes.
Activity 7: Bird Comparison
Use the links below to see the differences and similarities between each marine bird species. Look at details like body size and beak shape.
Activity 8: Sea Star Perspective
If your students aren’t familiar with starfish, check out this link from National Geographic.
If students are interested, here is a cool video of a starfish “walking” on a beach.
Activity 10: Floating and Sinking
This website provides good background information and examples on density.