Birds Lesson Plan: FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds

Quotes of the Day:

"Let Birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens". Genesis 1:20

"They and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature". Genesis 7:14

"And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest". Psalm 55:6


torpor— a deep sleep to conserve energy.

fledglings-- baby hummingbirds are learning to fly


DVD Suggestions: FLIGHT:  The Genius of Birds marks the launch of Illustra Media’s new documentary series The Design of Life documentary series.  Each episode explores a different realm of the animal kingdom and the remarkable biological systems that make life on Earth possible.

Long before the modern phenomenon of flash mobs, nature as been exhibiting spectacular choreographed acrobatic flight dances that titillate us with a wondrous awe. FLIGHT:  The Genius of Birdsportrays many a avian phenomenon's and offers additional profoundevidence that displays unmistakable imprint of an intelligent designer.

Filmed in North America, England, Peru, Greenland, and Antarctica, FLIGHT probes the mysteries and mechanisms of a bird’s anatomy, instinct, and embryology to reveal stunning provisions essential for life in the skies.

You’ll marvel at a hummingbird’s unique skeletal, muscular and metabolic systems—all vital to its spectacular aerial acrobatics…

An Arctic tern will migrate from pole to pole each year.The endurance and navigational abilities of an Arctic tern as it travels from pole to pole during the longest migration on the planet…

The instinctive strategies that enable a flock of 300,000 European starlings to evade predators at break-neck speeds… while marveling at the joy of flight, the biological equivalent of an Aurora Borealis.

The elaborate network of a million component parts that make a feather an aerodynamic masterpiece.  And much more.

The poet William Blake wrote that to see an eagle in the air is to observe“a portion of genius.”   In FLIGHT the ingenuity of a bird’s behavior and biology showcase unmistakable evidence for design, purpose, and plan.  They are displays of genius best explained by intelligence and mind.

Official trailer


is the first episode in Illustra Media’s new series THE DESIGN OF LIFE. This remarkable documentary explores the evidence for intelligent design as revealed through the biological systems and mechanisms that make avian flight possible. Photographed in North America, England, Peru, Greenland, and Antarctica FLIGHT celebrates birds and the miracle of life in the skies.

Embryonic development

In this sequence from Illustra Media’s newest documentary


you will enter a fertilized egg to witness a bird’s embryonic development. Spectacular animation and live action footage document the extraordinary 21-day process of organization and growth from a few cells into a chicken

My Thoughts: What an incredible DVD! I supplemented my bird lesson plans I had created for my children and utilized this wonderful DVD. Illustra Media has produced this film (and others like it) that help define the scientific case for design and the limitations of processes like Darwinian evolution. This film will stir your heart and mind. The Flight: The Genius of Birds DVD is a must see if you are a Christian homeschooling mom. This is one of the best supplements I have ever used when teaching a lesson plan. Your children will be mesmerized and you will be utilizing this DVD time and time again. I actually will be placing an order for other DVDs produced by Illustra Media to utilize in our lessons for 2013-2014.

Website Suggestions:



The Case for a Creator

Darwin's Dilemma

The Privileged Planet

Unlocking the Mystery of Life

Where does the Evidence Lead

Book Suggestions:

Hummingbirds by Zoobooks

Hummingbirds in the Garden by Roma Gans (Let’s read and find out Science)

The Hungry Hummingbird by April Pulley Sayre

Hummingbird by David M. Schwartz

Hummingbird Nest by Kristine O' Connell

Birds Lesson Plan: 

Five days after God said let there be light, there were handsome creatures speckling the sky with their majesty and declaring the glory of God with their amazing ability to fly. Today, these creatures remind us how wonderful God is to have made such beautiful, astonishing animals. All birds have feathers. Feathers have many uses. Feathers are very light weight and help the bird fly. They also keep the bird warm.

We see birds flying, gliding, soaring, and sailing through the air with ease. How do they do it? How come we can’t just flap our arms really fast and join them in the air? Well, God designed these creatures with wings, which we don’t have, and a very key ingredient for flight is the shape of those wings. The shape of its wings is what gives a creature the ability to lift off the ground. The flight terms lift and drag explain why a bird can fly with its wings and why we can’t fly with our arms.

God’s invisible creations of air enable birds to fly. When air flows across a bird’s wing, the air that travels above the wing moves more quickly than the air that travels below the wing. This causes more pressure on the bottom of the wing than on the top, which lifts the wing, making the bird fly.

God created the wing and the air to work together. The shape of the bird’s wing is why it experiences lift. As the bird’s wing moves through the air, some air goes above and some air goes below the wing. Because the wing is curved, the air moving over the top of the wing has to go farther than the air moving underneath the wing. As the bird speeds up, the air travels over the wing even faster. As the air travels faster and faster over the wing, less and less pressure is placed upon the top part of the wing.

This gives the wing more and more lift, causing the bird to go higher and higher. That is why birds flap their wings – to move faster so that the air travels faster over their wings. Speed is very important in making lift. When a bird flaps its wings, the wings provide a force that makes the bird go faster. Scientists call this force thrust. The more thrust that the wings give the bird, the faster the bird goes, and the greater the lift on its wings.

God created each bird with a body shape that is aerodynamic.

Bird characteristics

1. They have feathers-- which are remarkably light for their strength

2. Hollow Bones -- again, making it easier to fly

3. Instead of teeth, birds have a beak which is lighter

4. Oviparous (lay eggs)  allowing them to leave them in a nest while flying instead of having to carry their embryos wherever they go

Discovering Birds:

Why did God make birds?

What helps a bird to fly?

What makes a bird a bird?

What are hummingbirds?  Hummingbirds are a family of birds that contain the smallest birds in the world. There all 400 known kinds of hummingbirds, but 19 of them live in the United States. Hummingbirds get their name from the humming sound their wings make as they fly, not because they hum or sing.

Where in the United States do hummingbirds live?  Hummingbirds live only in the Western Hemisphere.  The ruby-throated hummingbird lives east of the Mississippi River. The Allen’s, Anna’s black-chinned, calliope, rufous hummingbirds live in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The Black-chinned and broad tailed hummingbirds live in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.  The Rufous hummingbird lives in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri. Oklahoma and Arkansas. Black-chinned, ruby-throated, magnificent hummingbirds live in Texas and Louisiana.

What do hummingbirds eat? Hummingbirds find food in the nectar of flowers. They like tubular shaped flowers like honeysuckle, fuchsias, hibiscus and trumpet vine. Also the color red seems to attract hummingbirds. It probes its long thin bill into the flower and sucks up the nectar which is high energy food. A hummingbird can lap up nectar  like a kitten lapping milk. It can flick its tongue 13 times in one second. How fast can you? Hummingbirds also need to eat insects for protein, minerals and vitamins. You can also put out a hummingbird feeder to help supply the sweet nectar they need. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 4 cups of warm water and let it cool then put it in the feeder. You should replace the sugar water at least once a week, because it can get rancid.

What is a hummingbirds lifecycle? The females build the nest themselves. They use spider silk and bits of plants and cover it with lichens. It is very tiny and nothing bigger than a penny fits inside! She then choose a male and the mate in midair. She will lay two eggs in her nest; they are about the size of peas. She will sit on her nest for 2-3 weeks to keep her eggs warm. The tiny hummingbirds hatch, they are born blind and naked. These tiny birds must eat 2-3 times and hour. The mother feeds them regurgitated nectar and insects that she found. She is a very busy mama the next couple weeks feeding her babies and also herself. After about 3 weeks the babies are ready to fly.

Try This:

Hatching Chicken Eggs. We do this each spring and it is a lovely way to teach your children about the process of life.

Disclosure: I was given a DVD for review purposes only. I have not been compsensated for this post. My opinions are my own.