This lesson is brought to you by Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter in partnership with teacher Kasey Brown.
LESSON 2: THE PERCEPTIVE PIGEON
We see pigeons everywhere we go: on school campuses, on city streets, at the park. Have you ever wanted to know more about these gentle birds? Did you know pigeons and doves are smart and affectionate? Did you know that some types -- special domesticated breeds that don't live in the wild -- make great pets? In this lesson we will also learn about Palomacy, a rescue group in Alameda, California, that advocates for the humane treatment of wild and domesticated pigeons and doves all over the world.
Ages: 8 and older (parents might need to assist kids younger than 10)
What you will need: Access to the Internet, paper and a pen or pencil
Optional: Home printer, crayons, other art supplies
Skills exercised: English (reading), critical thinking, art and creativity (projects)
Duration: Minimum 30 minutes
Note: There are coloring pages for younger children in the Activities section.
Let’s get started! You may write your answers on a separate sheet of paper, or print and fill out the PDF version of this lesson.
Use the "KWL" chart below (or make your own) to list everything you already know about pigeons and what you want to know. Leave the Learned column blank for now. (In case you haven't figured it out already, KWL stands for what you Know, what you Want to know, and what you Learned!)
Read through these interesting facts about pigeons (https://www.softschools.com/facts/animals/pigeon_facts/589/). Now, write down what you found to be the FIVE most interesting facts about pigeons:
In the San Francisco Bay Area, there is a wonderful animal rescue group called Palomacy. Its mission is to save, rehabilitate and find homes for orphaned domesticated pigeons and doves. Watch this YouTube video of how Palomacy got started.
Ready to learn more? Watch the founder of Palomacy, Elizabeth Young, talk about pigeons and doves in this YouTube video. Did you know that pigeons come in many different shapes and colors? Check this out!
When you've finished visiting these pages, ask yourself the following questions:
What was I surprised to learn? What new questions do I have?
Add this to the "Want to Learn" and "Learned" columns of your KWL chart.
Let's keep going! Here's a fun and interesting video from The Dodo listing all the reasons you should like pigeons!
Think about what you've learned and add your final notes to the "Want to Learn" and "Learned" columns of your chart. Now, check out the Activities below to learn and do more!
> Do you like to color? You can print out pigeon and dove coloring pages from Palomacy. The drawings are of real birds rescued by Palomacy!
> Have you ever visited Quizlet? It's a fun, free site where you can test your knowledge of pigeons and many other topics. Once there, perform a search on "pigeons" to see what fun facts and activities you can find.
Now that you know just how cool pigeons are, why not educate your friends and family? Here are some ideas:
> Create a series of "Did You Know?" mini posters with a fact on each poster. (Or, you could create slides on the computer using the Powerpoint software program.)
> Spread the word: the popular "sport" of pigeon racing is dangerous for pigeons. Check out this page on pigeon racing and add what you learn to your poster or slide series.
> YOU can be a volunteer for Palomacy! Here's how:
- Use your computer to "cut out" photos of pigeons. Do you know how to do this? A cutout is a special kind of photo cropping that takes out the background and leaves just the silhouette of an object (check out our pigeon cutout on the left).
Palomacy uses cutouts of pigeons in all sorts of ways to promote pigeons on its website and in emails to its supporters. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to introduce yourself and volunteer to cut out some photos!
- Create pigeon-themed graphics. Use a pigeon or dove as the centerpiece of a graphic that Palomacy can share to spread the word that pigeons are cool.
You could make graphics celebrating birthdays, each of the major holidays, and the list goes on!
- Create a pigeon meme. Palomacy needs cute pigeon memes it can share on social media. (Check out the "You can't spell cool" example!)
Can you come up with a meme about how much fun it would be to shelter in place while fostering a pigeon or dove? Send your ideas to email@example.com!
Do you already rescue pigeons and doves? Do you like to write?
If so, here are two more ways to help!
> Share what makes rescuing these wonderful creatures so special at this testimonial page for Palomacy.
> Palomacy needs stories from its volunteers and other pigeon rescuers on how to take care of pigeons and doves. Share your expertise! (Examples: How to make friends with your pigeon, how to introduce your single bird to a potential new friend.) See examples of guest posts here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her if you can send a "how-to" story!
About Kasey Brown
Hi! I’m Kasey Brown, a teacher in Alameda, California. Besides teaching math, I also teach an elective class called Animal Care & Welfare at Wood Middle School. Our class learns about companion animals, including cats, dogs and rabbits, and important topics, such as spay/neuter, pet overpopulation, and puppy mills. Guest speakers have talked about working dogs, feral cats, rabbit rescue, greyhounds and lots more. As part of our class, students complete self-chosen projects in small groups to educate and take action that help animals.
We'd like your feedback. Email email@example.com. We would also love to see the posters or other artwork you made for these lessons. Want more online lessons? We'll add more soon.