Wolf Ridge

Black-capped Chickadees

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This lesson explores some of the behaviors and traits of black-capped chickadees, one of the most common birds in Minnesota. After reading the story page or viewing the story video, participants will complete a set of questions using range maps of 4 different species of chickadees. Following the mapping activity, you and your family are challenged to make observations and journal entries in their own yard or neighborhood about the birds that are currently there.


teacher/parent materials

student materials

Concepts and Outcomes


  • Maps allow us to better understand and study the long term behaviors of animal populations and territories.
  • Birds provide an accessible way to observe physical and behavioral adaptations.
  • Observing birds can help to trace the phenology of a specific place and mark its change over short or long periods of time.

Learning Outcomes

  • Upon completion of this lesson the individual will be able to:
  • Interpret range maps to answer questions about chickadee territories in the United States.
  • Make inferences about what determines a successful habitat for different bird species.
  • Conduct a neighborhood or backyard bird survey.

MN Academic Standards Addressed

4th Grade Social Studies Standards – Create and use various kinds of maps, including overlaying thematic maps, of places in the United States, and also Canada or Mexico; incorporate the “TODALS” map basics, as well as points, lines, and colored areas to display spatial information. – Choose the most appropriate data from maps, charts, and graphs in an atlas to answer specific questions about geographic issues in the United States, and also Canada or Mexico.

4th Grade Science Standards

4L. – Construct or support an argument that traits can be influenced by different environments.