Unit and Lapbook Prepared by Wende
General Stork Info Graduated Book**
*Note – all Aesop mini books can be stapled together to make one book, or can be used individually.
you didn’t want to use individual books)
Books/Stories Containing Information on Storks:
Wheel on the Chimney by Margaret Wise Brown
Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
Birds Do the Strangest Things by Leonora and Arthur Hornblow (Step-Up Book)
All About Animal Migrations by John Sanders (not specifically about storks)
Aesop’s The Farmer and the Stork
Aesop’s The Fox and the Stork
Aesop’s The Frogs Asking for a King
The Storks by Hans Christian Anderson (1838)
As you read through books about storks, your child can record them in Stork Book Fan.
Birds are grouped into different orders, families, and species according to the characteristics of their bills, feet and wings. Storks are classified in the following way:
Phylum: Chordata (having backbones)
Class: Aves (meaning bird)
(long –necked, long-legged waders including herons, bitterns, ibises,
Family: Ciconiidae (storks)
Genus: Ciconia (white stork, black stork, wood stork, etc.)
Have child copy classifications into Stork Classification Graduated Book, and also list other animals in those classifications.
Literature Connection: Read Aesop’s The Farmer and the Stork mini book. In what ways did the Stork say he was different than the Cranes? Compare and Contrast a Stork and a Crane in Venn Book.
Birds have feathers that are designed for different functions. To keep a stork warm and protect it from the elements, it has Downy feathers that are against the bird’s body, Coverts, which are the small feathers overlying the bases of tail and flight feathers, and Scapulars, which protect the shoulder regions. The stork also has lightweight, strong and flexible feathers designed for flight, the Primaries, which are the principle flight feathers, and the Secondaries, which extend to the wing tips. A stork also has tail feathers, which help it to slow down, steer, and balance itself. Label the different feathers of a bird and describe their functions in Stork Plumage Simple Fold.
Stork Bills and Feet:
The bill of the stork is longer than its head, and is straight, pointed, and strong. It is designed so that a stork can wade in water, reaching his bill down to hunt for food. A stork’s feet are partly webbed, to aid him in wading in shallow waters. Storks are not swimmers, just waders.
How else does a stork benefit from having a long bill? Read Aesop’s The Fox and the Stork mini book to see!
Storks are predatory carnivorous animals, meaning they eat meat, and will pretty much eat anything they can get in their bills. They will move their open bill around in water until it feels its prey, and then will snap their bill shut quickly. They will consume a wide variety of prey items including insects, frogs, toads, tadpoles, turtles, fish, rodents, small alligators, snakes, lizards, earthworms, mollusks, crustaceans, and, on occasion, the chicks or eggs of ground-nesting birds. Complete Stork Diet Wheel.
Literature Connection: Read Aesop’s The Frogs Asking for a King mini book. What did the storks eat in this story?
A habitat is the place that plants and animals live, with everything they need to function and survive. A habitat will include food, water, and shelter. There are many different habitats throughout the world, including desert, prairie, rainforest, woodlands, pond, etc. What kind of habitat do storks need? If you are reading Wheel on the School this week, the story gives you many details as to what a stork’s habitat should look like. They need trees, to perch from and for materials to build nests. They need water, especially swampy or marshy water, where they can find all the little critters that make up their diet. They need a warm climate. They need a safe, inviting place to nest. Do storks live in your area? Why or why not? Is your habitat inviting to storks? While your habitat includes everything you need to survive, it may not be wonderful for storks. That is one of the reasons God has created so many different animals to fill all the different habitats throughout the world.
Complete Habitat Bi-Fold.
Kinds of Storks:
There are over 18 varieties of storks around the world. The most popular are the white storks, black storks, and wood storks.
Black Stork –
Size: 40” tall with 60” wingspan
Coloring of adult storks: All black except for a white belly, and red bill and legs.
Where do they live? Live in central and eastern Europe from approx. April until September, migrating to Africa or Israel for the winter months.
Special Facts: Black Storks will make their own nests out of sticks high up in trees. They are shyer than the White Storks. They will inhabit marshy wetlands or woodlands, hills or mountains with creeks.
White stork –
Size: 44” tall with 60” wingspan
Coloring of young storks: White with a small bare patch of black skin around their eyes, and a black bill.
Coloring of adult storks: White with black tail and wing feathers, tinted with purple and green, and a red bill and legs.
Where do they live? Live in Europe from approx. April until September, migrating to Africa for the winter months.
Special Facts: White Storks have been building their nests on man-made structures in Europe since the Middle Ages.
Wood stork –
Size: 40” tall with 60” wingspan
Coloring of young storks: White with black tail and wing feathers, a gray/black feathered head, and a yellow bill.
Coloring of adult storks: White with black tail and wing feathers, a bald head, and black bill.
Where do they live? They are found along the coasts where they look for meals in the marshes, ponds, and wetlands. In the United States, you can find one group of Wood Storks lives in Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. The other larger group lives in the west, making their nests in California, Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, and Louisiana
Facts: The wood stork is the only stork that takes up
residence in North America. They are called Wood Storks because they love to
roost and nest high up in the safety of tree branches. They are found along the
coasts where they look for meals in the marshes, ponds, and wetlands. They have
been on the Endangered Species List since 1984.
Complete General Stork Info Graduated Book for one of the stork species if desired.
Stork Nesting Habits:
Wood Storks nest in colonies, with multiple nests in a single tree. The nests can reach up to 48” in diameter. White Storks can be enticed to nest on the roofs of houses, if embellishments such as wooden wagon wheels are in place. You will also find nests on towers, chimneys, telephone poles, haystacks, trees, and cliff edges. Nests are huge and bulky, constructed of branches and sticks and lined with twigs, grasses, sod, rags, and paper. Particularly old nests have grown to over 6’ in diameter. Some nests have been in use for hundreds of years. Both the male and female storks participate in nest construction with the male bringing most of the material.
Other Interesting Stork Facts:
White Storks do not have a voice. To communicate with each other, they clatter their bills together and dance around, ruffling their feathers. Black Storks do have a rasping call, and rarely use the bill clattering technique that the White Storks use. All storks fly with his or her necks and legs outstretched. Because of their size and weight, once the storks reach an acceptable altitude, they stop flapping their wings and glide.
If desired, complete Interesting Stork Fact Envelope Book.
*Note – the discussion of Stork reproduction and myths about them bringing babies may prompt your young children to ask, “Well, where do babies come from?” So you might want to be prepared for these questions, or avoid these lessons all together until you and your children are ready. J
While storks don’t really bring babies to expecting parents, they did get this reputation because of what good parents they are. Unlike many other animals, storks will meet their mate, and stay with them all through the making of the nest, fertilization and lying of the eggs, incubation period, and training sessions of young storks. They will stay together until migration, where they will sometimes, but not always, meet up again. Around April, Storks will lie between three and five eggs, larger than tennis balls, and will sit on them for an incubation period of 33-34 days. Both the male and female stork share in child rearing duties, feeding, cleaning up after, training, and guarding the little birds. Feeding keeps the parents very busy, as a stork family will eat close to 400 pounds of fish each season! In mid-July, the migrating storks will send their young ones off first, on their journey south, and then will leave themselves in August-September. This cycle will continue again, when the birds begin their return trip in January-February, and arrive in the north by April.
Many rabbit trails can be taken on the study of birds in general, including the parts of an egg, as well as bird reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, and circulatory systems. Check your library for general bird books as desired.
Literature Connection: Print out and read The Storks by Hans Christian Anderson (1838) about how a mother and father stork take care of their children, and store it in Pocket.
Social Studies –
Referring to the information above about Wood Storks, on United States Shutterfold, color in all the states where you would find Wood Storks
Migration of Storks:
Every year, over 450,000 white storks travel from Europe to Africa and back again. When animals travel over distances of land it is called migration. Animals migrate for various reasons. They are sometimes moving to a more comfortable climate, while other times they are traveling in search of food. Sometimes they travel to a certain place for mating, and other times the reasons are just unbeknownst to us. Storks are large, heavy birds that have a hard time staying in the air over large bodies of water. They actually take a longer route than necessary, bypassing the Mediterranean Sea and going over the warm airs of the Middle East, or through Spain. Over land there are thermals, which are columns of warm air, which give the birds an easier ride. It actually requires the storks to work less going a longer distance by flying on these thermals. Storks run into many obstacles during their travels, such as aircraft, power lines, barbed wire, polluted water and pesticides.
Print out Stork Passport Cover and Pages. Trace route of storks on a big world map. Pick a starting point, one of the countries that White Storks reside in: Poland, Belgium, Netherlands (Holland), Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden or Switzerland. On Leaving From page, fill out country information and draw a picture or glue in a picture of a flag. Now your stork needs to get to Africa where it will stay for the winter. If your stork is leaving from Western Europe, it will be going to Mali or Nigeria. If your stork is leaving from Eastern Europe, it will be going to Sudan or Kenya. Pick a destination. Now, remember that storks can’t fly over large bodies of water, so be sure to pick out the routes that take them over mostly land. Log in your passport any “layovers” (countries it passes through or rests in) your stork may have, and finally, its destination.
Once you know your route, Country Flags can be downloaded from http://www.wpclipart.com/flags/index.html
Misc. Rabbit Trails:
If you are reading Wheel on the School this week, you may want to do further study on Holland (Netherlands), the setting of the story, or your child may enjoy learning more about where the storks winter-over in Africa. Here are some lapbook components you may want to include:
Holland Shutterfold; Holland Flag Simple Fold; Many Africa Resources
Language Arts –
These are some of the terms you may come across in your study of storks. Have your child use them in a sentence to demonstrate understanding, and record them in Vocabulary Flap Book.
Classification – the process of grouping animals based on similarities and differences.
Plumage – a bird’s feathers
Wade– walk through water.
Predator – an animal that hunts his food
Prey – an animal that is victim to a predator
Habitat – the self-sustaining environment that plants and animals are found.
Incubation – the amount of time eggs are kept warm until they hatch
Migrate – to move from one region or climate to another.
Carnivore – meat eating animal
Thermal – warm pockets of air found over land
Myth –a traditional story that often explains a naturally happening occurrence
Endangered – animals that are in danger of becoming extinct.
Stork Myths and Folktales Around the World:
A myth is a traditional story that often explains a naturally happening occurrence. One of the most popular myths about storks is the age-old image of a stork carrying a bundled up baby. This originated with a Greek myth in which a stork was actually stealing and carrying away a baby. The beautiful Queen of the Pygmies, Gerana, angered a goddess named Hera so she changed her into a stork. . As a stork, Gerana tried to steal her own child, Mopsus, whom she loved, but was constantly chased away by her former kin.
In Hebrew the word for stork meant “kind mother”, and their care for their young made the storks a widespread symbol of parental care.
In northern Europe, the storks arrive in Poland and Germany nine months after midsummer. If they landed and nested on the roofs of people’s homes, they were thought to bring fertility and prosperity, thus earning the reputation of “bringing babies”.
Because storks are thought to have just one life long mate, in Norse mythology and other folklore, the stork represents a life-long commitment to family values and fidelity. This symbolism carried over to Early Christians up until the 17th century.
There is an old Polish folktale that tells us that reptiles and amphibians became so numerous and caused so many problems that God put them all in a sack to get rid of them. He gave the sack to a human, with instructions to empty the sack into the sea. The man was overcome with curiosity so he opened the sack to see what was inside. All of the animals escaped and hid, so God changed the man into a stork to hunt them all down and clean up the mess.
In Bulgaria, there is a special holiday celebrated on March 1st called “Baba Marta”, or Grandmother March. Everyone exchanges martenitsi, or "little Marches", which are little objects made of red and white thread. They range from just tassels or bracelets, to shapes of hearts, dolls, and other characters, and are to be pinned on to clothes. The martenitsi are not to be removed from the clothing until a stork is spotted, which could be well into April, or it is said that you will not have a healthy year.
Record some of the myths about what storks are said to bring in Storks Bring What?! T-Book
Stork is spelled with a special letter team, “or”. When the letters “or” come at the end of a word, or if “or” is followed by another consonant, the “r” changes the “o” to a long sound. How many “or” words can your child thing of? Examples include or, for, fork, cork, corn, pork, storm, etc. Use “OR” Letter Tiles to spell out “or” words, and then store them in lapbook using pocket.
Stork Acrostic Poem:
Have your child write and acrostic poem about storks. An acrostic poem is when the first letter in each line of the poem starts with a letter in the word the poem is about. The lines can rhyme, but the don’t need to. For example:
Rolling thunder over the hills
Animals all running for cover
It pounds against the rooftop
Needed and welcomed by the dry earth.
Record Stork Acrostic Poem in Flap Book.
Math/Physical Education –
While doing this unit, your child may enjoy doing the “Stork Stand”. Standing with his feet shoulder width apart, balance on one foot with his arms tucked in like a stork’s feathers. Have child practice this several times and see how long he can hold this stand for. Now have child spin in circles until you yell out “Stork!” and the child quickly gets into the stork stand. How long could he balance now? Now, have child spin in circles again and when he hears you yell out “Stork!” he closes his eyes and try to stand in the stork stand position. How long can he balance this time? Record child’s times using tally marks in Stork Stand Flap Book.
Videos of storks in action:
Stork coloring pages: