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Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson that allows students to practice grade-appropriate reading comprehension, foundational reading, and reading fluency skills. These reading comprehension lessons are designed to be completed in one or two class settings.

Each lesson discusses a subject that students want to read about and that teachers will want to incorporate into their reading instruction. The lesson is appropriate as a whole-class, stand-alone lesson or as an independent small-group activity. Be sure to check if there is a Learn Bright video that goes with this lesson!

Description

Additional information, what our hummingbirds lesson plan includes.

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Hummingbirds is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson plan. As such, students will practice various close reading and comprehension skills. In addition, they will learn about hummingbirds’ habitat, diet, and behaviors. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, you need pompoms, wiggly eyes, toothpicks, black markers, cupcake holders, glue, and scissors.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page gives you a little more information on the lesson overall and describes what you may want to focus your teaching on. It explains that you can teach this lesson in a whole-class setting or to an independent, small group as an activity. The blank lines are available for you to write out any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.

HUMMINGBIRDS LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES

What is a hummingbird.

The Hummingbirds lesson plan contains three content pages. It begins by providing a box of background information about this tiny animal. Part of the aves class, hummingbirds live in North, South, and Central Americas. Their diet consists of bugs and nectar, and they can live for three to five years.

Ornithologists are scientists who study birds, and they group them into families. The family name for a hummingbird is the Trochilidae. This family has over 350 members or species, making it the second-largest bird family in the world. There are only about 17 species of hummingbird in the United States, and the rest live in Central and South Americas. Most hummingbirds are tiny and weigh less than a penny! The smallest one lives in Peru and is the size of a bee. So people call it the bee hummingbird!

A hummingbird can fly between 25 and 30 miles per hour, as fast as many species of bees. Their wings beat extremely fast to move at this speed, producing a humming sound. This is, of course, where they get their name. Hummingbirds are unique because they can fly forward or backward, or just hover in place. In fact, they are the only birds that can fly backward.

Diet of Hummingbirds

Just like many humans, hummingbirds love sugary treats! They have a high metabolism, which means they need lots of energy. Your metabolism is the chemical reaction in your cells that signify to change food into energy. Hummingbirds get their energy from a sugar called nectar. Most nectar comes from flowers, but people can also make nectar by mixing water and sugar.

Hummingbirds use their long tongues to lap up nectar from flowers. Their tongues have unique grooves to help them eat. However, these birds can’t live on sugar alone. They also need protein, minerals, and vitamins to stay healthy and strong. To get these, they also eat bugs. Usually, hummingbirds will open their long beaks and catch insects in midair while flying.

Students will discover that hummingbirds are very territorial. They pick an area, like a specific flower garden or feeder, and claim it as their own. They do not like to share food from their site and will fight to defend their territory from other hummingbirds or any other kind of bird.

Other Interesting Facts

Because hummingbirds are brightly colored, we often name them after their colorful feathers or unusual appearance. As a result, many names sound like fairies, princesses, or even action figures! Here are some examples: green-crowned woodnymph, black-eared fairy, fire-throated metaltail, and the horned sungem.

In a single day, a hummingbird can feed on hundreds of flowers. With the fastest metabolism of any bird on the planet, they must eat all day long just to get enough energy. Their heart beats over 500 times per minute. In comparison, your heart beats around 60 to 100 times per minute. Because of this, they eat about the weight of their body in one day. In fact, if a hummingbird goes more than a few hours without food, it can starve to death.

Hummingbirds are well known for their great courage. The ancient Aztec Indians that lived in and around Mexico would wear necklaces made of hummingbird feathers before going into battle. They believed the birds had great courage and power. Despite being very small, they defended their territory with great strength against larger birds. Many people today still associate the hummingbird with a symbol of courage.

Why They Are Important

Since hummingbirds eat nectar, they are also responsible for pollinating flowers. As they eat, pollen often falls onto their wings. And since they travel from flower to flower all day, they can pollinate many flowers. They also eat a lot of insects, which helps to keep the population under control. Gardners and farmers love to see hummingbirds around their gardens because they are such excellent pollinators and keep the insect population from eating their crops!

The good news is that there are no endangered hummingbirds in North America. Still, the bad news is that many species are threatened in Central and South Americas. Many of them have lost their habitats and don’t have anywhere to live. Because of this, people are building special parks where hummingbirds can live. They provide lots of flowers, water, and hanging feeders so the hummingbirds can thrive.

HUMMINGBIRDS LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS

The Hummingbirds lesson plan includes two worksheets: an activity worksheet and a practice worksheet. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.

MAKE A HUMMINGBIRD ACTIVITY WORKSHEET

For the activity, students will get to create their own hummingbirds using the supplies you provide. The worksheet provides a picture to show what the finished products should look like. It also provides clear directions for students to follow to complete the activity. You could choose to provide more supplies if you want so students can make more than one hummingbird.

PRACTICE WORKSHEET

The practice worksheet lists 11 questions based on the content. These questions all relate to the content pages, so students will need to refer to them often for the answers. In addition, each question provides which reading tool the question corresponds to, such as text feature, vocabulary, or comprehension.

Worksheet Answer Keys

At the end of the lesson plan document is an answer key for the practice worksheet. The correct answers are all in red to make it easier for you to compare them with students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

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Hummingbirds Reading Warm-Up

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A hummingbird is a bird that flaps its wings so fast in flight that it makes a high-frequency humming sound and appears to hover. It is one of the world’s smallest bird species and belongs to the Trochilidae family. It is known for its small, lightweight physique, a long bill, rapidly beating wings, and powerful senses of sight and hearing.

See the fact file below for more information on the hummingbird or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Hummingbird worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.

Key Facts & Information

  • Hummingbird Facts
  • Hummingbirds belong to the Trochilidae avian family. 
  • The word Trochilidae comes from the Greek word trochilos, meaning “small bird.”
  • They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings when they are hovering and/or feeding.
  • There are over 300 species and 113 genera of the hummingbird.
  • Hummingbirds are native to the Americas and are found from Alaska in the north to Tierra del Fuego way down south in Argentina and Chile .
  • Most species are found in Central and South America and the Caribbean . 
  • At least 140 hummingbird species breed in the Andes mountain range. 
  • The average lifespan of a hummingbird is 5 to 10 years.

Characteristics

  • Of all bird species, the hummingbird has the largest brain relative to its size.
  • Hummingbirds have an excellent memory and are able to remember every flower they’ve been to for nectar .
  • They have such small feet that they cannot walk or hop properly; however, the feet are useful for perching, preening, and scratching themselves.
  • During cold nights or when fatigued, hummingbirds go into a state called torpor. Torpor is a type of hibernation used to reduce temperature and metabolic rate to save energy.
  • Hummingbirds are tiny.
  • Most species measure only 3–5 in (7.5–13 cm) in length. 
  • The smallest species, the bee hummingbird (Helena hummingbird) is a mere 2.0 in (5 cm) and weighs less than 0.07 oz (2.0 g). 
  • The largest hummingbird species is the giant hummingbird ( Patagona gigas ) which is just over 9 in (23 cm) long and weighs 0.63–0.85 oz (18–24 g).
  • Hummingbirds exhibit sexual size dimorphism.
  • In the small-bodied species, males are mostly smaller than females.
  • In large-bodied species, males are mostly larger than females.
  • Bill size and shape differences are also visible between male and female hummingbirds, with some female species having longer, more curved bills for accessing nectar from tall flowers.
  • In species where females and males are of the same size, females tend to have larger bills.
  • Females are better at foraging, acquiring flower nectar , and supporting the energy demands of their larger body size.

Wings and Flight

  • Relative to its size, the hummingbird has the fewest feathers of all birds.
  • Hummingbirds’ wings are powerful, and they fly efficiently because they have lightweight feathers and feet.
  • They fly by inverting their wings like insects. 
  • They are the only birds that can fly backward, sideways, and up and down.
  • They are also able to hover in mid-air. 
  • Depending on the species, a hummingbird’s wings beat 50 to 200 times per second. 
  • It breathes 250 times per minute, and its heart beats approximately 1,200 times per minute.
  • Hummingbirds can fly at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, with top speeds exceeding 15 m/s, 34 mph (54 km/h).
  • Hummingbird eyes are small in diameter, with relatively large corneas.
  • They have powerful eyesight and good night vision. 
  • They can see further than the human eye and can also see colors that the human eye can’t because their eyes can process ultraviolet light.
  • Their visual sensitivity also allows them to hover extensively in one place. 

Song and Color

  • Hummingbird vocals consist of whistles, buzzes, chirps, and squeaks.
  • These allow a large frequency range and pitch.
  • Most male hummingbirds have bright, varied colored plumage on the head, breast, back, and wings.
  • Males have a ruby-red throat, while females have a white throat.
  • The most common colors for female hummingbirds are dark green, brown, and white.
  • Females tend to keep a low profile to hide from predators, especially when nesting and incubating their young.

Reproduction and Young

  • Male hummingbirds go to great lengths to court and impress females. 
  • They dance and sing and perform courtship dives and mating displays require clever and complex aerial maneuvers.
  • Hummingbirds do not mate for life, and male hummingbirds do not take part in preparing the nest or caring for the young.
  • Females usually build a cup-shaped nest on the branch of a shrub or tree.
  • Lichen and spider silk is often used to bind the nest material together, making the structure secure and flexible.
  • Nest size varies relative to the species.
  • Usually, two white eggs are laid.
  • Incubation lasts between 14 and 23 days, depending on the species, the female’s attentiveness, and the ambient temperature.
  • The newborns are called nestlings.
  • The mother feeds them on nectar and small insects by regurgitating food into the nestlings’ crop.
  • Hummingbirds stay in the nest for 18–22 days, after which they leave the nest to start foraging on their own.
  • The mother bird may continue supplement feeding for a short while after.
  • Hummingbirds have different migration patterns and habits, depending on the species. 
  • Some species of hummingbirds migrate in flocks. 
  • Most North American hummingbirds migrate southward in fall to spend winter in Mexico , the Caribbean Islands, or Central America.
  • The rufous hummingbird is renowned for its extraordinary flight skills and the longest migration pattern. It flies up to 3,900 miles (over six thousand km) from Alaska to Mexico. 
  • Hummingbirds are nectarivores. 
  • They feed mainly on flower nectar, but they can also sip juice from fruits or eat small insects and spiders.
  • Hummingbirds drink with their long tongues.
  • The tongue is forked and compressed until it reaches nectar.
  • It then opens, and rapid movement traps the nectar, and it moves up along grooves.
  • Hummingbirds require a lot of energy to fly, so they need to eat a lot.
  • Many plants are pollinated by hummingbirds and attract the birds with flowers in shades of bright pink, red, and orange.
  • Hummingbirds also drink sugar water provided by humans, feeding the birds nourishment when flower blossoms are scarce.
  • Predators of hummingbirds include cats , snakes , praying mantises , lizards , owls, hawks, frogs , and large spiders .

Did You Know?

  • Trinidad and Tobago is called “The Land of the Hummingbird.” The hummingbird is on the nation’s coat of arms.
  • Honeyeaters, sunbirds, and hummingbird moths are commonly mistaken for hummingbirds.
  • Some species of sunbirds of Asia, Australia, and Africa, resemble hummingbirds in appearance but are not related to hummingbirds.
  • A common species found in North America is Anna’s hummingbird. They are medium-sized, short-billed, and broad-tailed. The females are commonly green and gray in color, while the males have reddish feathers covering their heads and throats.
  • A species that is easy to identify is the sicklebill hummingbird because it has a bill shaped like a sickle.

Hummingbird Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about hummingbirds across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Hummingbird worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about a hummingbird which is a bird that flaps its wings so fast in flight that it makes a high-frequency humming sound and appears to hover. It is one of the world’s smallest bird species and belongs to the Trochilidae family. It is known for its small, lightweight physique, a long bill, rapidly beating wings, and powerful senses of sight and hearing.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • Humming-Word
  • Clade Search
  • Fierce in Flight
  • Correct Colors
  • Feet Not For Flying
  • Spot The Predator
  • Ruby-throats and Rufouses
  • Trivia Time
  • Letter to a Friend

Frequently Asked Questions

How heavy is a hummingbird.

Hummingbirds are very small and very light. The average weight of a hummingbird is less than the weight of a nickel coin.

How long is a hummingbird’s tongue?

Hummingbird’s tongues are approximately the same length as their bill. Females have longer tongues than males.

Do hummingbirds return to the same place each year?

Hummingbirds have a fantastic memory and are known to return to the same artificial feeder yearly.

What time are hummingbirds most active?

Hummingbirds feed throughout the day. However, their favorite time of day to feed is usually early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

What makes hummingbirds unique?

The way hummingbirds fly makes them unique. No other birds can fly like them. Hummingbirds can hover like a helicopter and fly forward, backward, and even upside down.

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Summer Reading Passages Informational Text Passages on Hummingbirds

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Description

Are you looking for summer reading passages with comprehension questions? Hummingbirds are fascinating and have interesting adaptations! This informational text unit on hummingbirds is printable and can be used for CLOSE reading and science literacy. Students will love learning about these interesting little birds and all the adaptations they have that help themsurvive.

This resource includes:

  • a three-page reading passage on hummingbirds
  • comprehension questions
  • response pages

Students are encouraged to read back into the text to answer the questions. 

Teachers Love this Resource! ❤️❤️❤️

Laura ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Extremely Satisfied

Loved this reading passage. Very interesting about the adaptations. Truly no prep and the scientific information is great!

Students love my informational text and science literacy units. This resource is intended for grades 3-5. My resources are not editable for copyright reasons.

If you are looking for an online unit on hummingbirds see this link Hummingbirds Online Unit

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This resource is created by Lynda R. Williams. If you have questions about Teaching Science resources, please contact me at [email protected]

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COMMENTS

  1. Hummingbirds

    RI.K.10 - Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. RI.1.10 - With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1. RI.2.10 - By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as ...

  2. PDF Reading Comprehension Worksheet and Kid's Fable

    The hummingbird will want to keep its young safe, so the bird will hide its nest. 3. What might happen if you try to take the nest of a hummingbird? ... reading comprehension, worksheet, exercises, children short stories, kids fables Created Date: 9/26/2020 12:46:31 AM ...

  3. Hummingbirds

    They make a buzzing noise when they fly. They make this noise because they beat their wings so fast. They beat their wings up to 80 times a second. All that flapping makes a lot of noise. That's why we call them hummingbirds. White-bellied Woodstar Hummingbird. Hummingbirds fly in a unique way. They move their wings so fast that they can hover.

  4. PDF Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Test Hummingbirds

    4. According to the text, which does the bee hummingbird use to make nests? a. straw b. concrete c. bark d. sticks 5. Which best describes the main idea of the fifth paragraph? a. Hummingbirds move fast. b. Hummingbirds like to eat nectar. c. Hummingbirds use lots of energy and eat often. d.

  5. Hummingbirds, Free PDF Download

    Lesson Objectives and Overview: Hummingbirds is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson plan. As such, students will practice various close reading and comprehension skills. In addition, they will learn about hummingbirds' habitat, diet, and behaviors. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade. Classroom Procedure

  6. PDF A Mighty Flier

    hummingbird does a great job performing its part in plant reproduction. During the course of a single day, the bee hummingbird can visit up to 1,500 flowers. And just like a bee, when the bee hummingbird drinks nectar from the flowers, pollen is transferred from the flower to the bird's body. This pollen is carried to the next flower.

  7. Humming Birds

    Become a member to access additional content and skip ads. "Humming Birds" - kids story. Non-fiction, 300 words. Comprehension questions follow the story. These historical stories or fables and worksheets provide reading practice for elementary school kids; free from K5 Learning. No registration required.

  8. ReadWorks

    ReadWorks is an edtech nonprofit organization that is committed to helping to solve America's reading comprehension crisis. ReadWorks is an edtech nonprofit organization that is committed to helping to solve America's reading comprehension crisis. ... a hummingbird buzzes up to a flower. It stops short, hovers, then pokes its long bill into ...

  9. Hummingbirds Reading Warm-Up

    Shelle Russell. Daily Warm-Ups: Reading, Grade 3 supports national standards and helps your students master reading comprehension skills across a variety of genres. Printable warm-ups contain fiction and nonfiction reading passages, followed by questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy. Topics include science, animals, current events, American ...

  10. Hummingbirds Reading Comprehension

    Hummingbirds Reading Comprehension - Online. This resource includes a short passage and five multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text. Make Your Own Games and Activities! NEW. Make Your Own State or Nation Maps Online! NEW.

  11. Leveled Reading Passage: Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Make Awesome Nests

    The passages are meant to be used as independent-level texts that students can read on their own with minimal support. Use the Lexile scores to help you determine which level is right for each student. Print or download this passage as a supplementary, independent reading activity to help them develop reading fluency.

  12. Hummingbirds

    Hummingbirds move fast. It takes lots of energy to move as fast as they do. This means that they need to eat a lot of food. Their favorite food is nectar, a sweet liquid inside of some flowers. They drink more than their own weight in nectar daily. They have to visit hundreds of flowers to get enough nectar to live.

  13. Hummingbird Comprehension Worksheet / Worksheet

    A short comprehension with multiple choice answers, all about hummingbirds. Twinkl Australia F - 2 Australian Curriculum Resources English Literacy Reading Reading Comprehension Activities. multiple choice reading comprehension year 3 comprehension worksheets reading comprehension grade 3 multiple choice comprehension comprehension hummingbird ...

  14. Reading Comprehension

    Hummingbirds are called hummingbirds for the whirring or humming sound their wings make.This KS2 reading comprehension includes an information sheet about hummingbirds. Students read through the article and answer the accompanying study questions that follow. This worksheet was created by PrimaryLeap.co.uk.

  15. Informational Text Passages on Hummingbirds

    Students will love these reading comprehension passages on hummingbirds! Great for scientific informational text. This unit is an informational text unit on hummingbirds that can be used for CLOSE reading and science literacy. This is a printable unit. Students will love learning about these intere...

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    Reading Comprehension Activity: Hummingbirds. The above printable, downloadable handout is a great resource for teenagers and adults. It is a useful material for improving Reading skills. Activities:….

  17. Hummingbird Comprehension Worksheet / Worksheet

    This is a lovely, short comprehension with multiple choice answers, about hummingbirds. Tags in this resource: Bee-Hummingbird.png. Twinkl Top Tip: Cover your kids' bird-themed activity books with this brightly coloured Hummingbird Book Cover. The above video may be from a third-party source.

  18. Hummingbird Comprehension Worksheet / Worksheet

    Twinkl 2014 National Curriculum Resources English Key Stage 1 - Year 1, Year 2 Year 2 Reading Comprehension Year 2 Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways. This is a lovely, short comprehension with multiple choice answers, about hummingbirds.Tags in this resource: Bee-Hummingbird.png.

  19. PDF Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Test Hummingbirds

    Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Test Hummingbirds Directions: Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow. Refer to the text to check your answers when appropriate. Have you ever heard the sound of a hummingbird? They make a buzzing noise when they fly. They make this noise because they beat their wings so fast. They beat their

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    Check out this tablet friendly online reading test. Students read a passage about hummingbirds, answer multiple choice questions, and enter long responses. Then save, print, or email results as a PDF. FREE!

  21. Reading Comprehension

    07-01-02-056. Worksheet Level: 1. 2. Description: This KS2 reading comprehension includes an information sheet about hummingbirds. Students read through the article and answer the accompanying study questions that follow. Max Possible Score:

  22. Hummingbird Facts & Worksheets

    Hummingbirds are tiny. Most species measure only 3-5 in (7.5-13 cm) in length. The smallest species, the bee hummingbird (Helena hummingbird) is a mere 2.0 in (5 cm) and weighs less than 0.07 oz (2.0 g). The largest hummingbird species is the giant hummingbird (Patagona gigas) which is just over 9 in (23 cm) long and weighs 0.63-0.85 oz ...

  23. Reading Comprehension Passages on Hummingbirds

    Students will love these reading comprehension passages on hummingbirds! Great for science reading comprehension. This unit is an informational text unit on hummingbirds that can be used for CLOSE reading and science literacy. This is a printable unit. Students will love learning about these intere...