What’s in a Wing

Project Title: What’s in a Wing

Description: Student-made wearable bird wing made of colored construction paper feathers and string


1. Thoughtful observation of birds (especially birds who frequent the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge).
2. Appreciation for birds in their own right by understanding basic analogous and distinctive structures and features. Familiarizing students with the essential topography of plumage.
3. Creative fulfillment and empowerment–kids seeing they can create something meaningful like a wing they can share with others.
4. Understanding and having fun with color and designing own personal feathers.

Author: Blair, Kristin

Grade level or Target Age Range: elementary to middle school (can be adapted to younger ages)

Vocabulary: primaries, secondaries, coverts, alula, contour feathers, down feathers, analogous, hue

Materials: String or yarn, construction paper, tape, markers (optional)

Anticipatory Set: What do we notice when we see birds flying? Wings move fast, look big or small, sometimes they make sounds, etc. Could birds ever move with what humans move with? How about humans moving like birds? Basic bone structure, etc. Reveal finished sample wing.

Instructional Reflection:
(to be added after use)

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