Reading and Writing Connections
for this selection:
Migration: A Dangerous
- Summarize Main Idea and Details
- Identify Cause and Effect Relationships
- Draw Conclusions From Information Described in the Text
- Ask Questions and Make Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading
- Connect to Prior Knowledge/Build Background Knowledge
- (About Reading Strategies)
larvae, fledged, transmission lines, irrigation systems, mortality, predators, predation,
vegetation, concentrate, botulism, cholera, avian tuberculosis, vandals, toll, cell
Ask students about their journeys/vacations/travels. How did they prepare for
the journey? What were possible dangers? (Connecting to Students? Prior
Prior to reading the selection, have students imagine being a whooping crane flying
north on its migratory route. Have them list questions and predictions based on the
title of the article. Examples: What are the possible dangers that make the journey
treacherous for whooping cranes? How can the dangers be managed to help make the
journey less treacherous? Who must take responsibility for the dangers? Encourage
students to brainstorm anticipatory questions using Who? What? Where? When? Why?
How? (Asking Questions and Making Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading)
A Dangerous Journey." Related Reading: Invite students to research the archives of Journey
North to read Migration Updates from previous seasons.
Library Lookout: Cherry, Lynne. Flute's Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush. Harcourt
Brace and Co., 1997. ISBN 0-15-292853-7. 32 pages. Flute's Journey is the story of
a Wood Thrush's first year and his arduous first migration across thousands of miles
from where he was hatched in Maryland to his winter home in Costa Rica, and back
again, and of the many perils he encounters.
Revisit the selection to identify each of the dangers
described in the text. Invite students to create a Two-Column
Chart for the information they collect. In the left
column, list the dangers whooping cranes face during
the migratory journey. In the right column, invite students
to write personal responses for each danger listed.
Ask questions to elicit students? responses: "Which dangers are "manmade?
How could the dangers be reduced or eliminated? What
creative solutions are needed to make the migratory routes
less arduous for the cranes? (Summarizing Main Ideas;
Use the details from the text to identify cause and effect
relationships. Ask questions to focus students? efforts: "If a
whooping crane did not achieve its destination, what
are the possible causes? How do communication towers
affect whooping cranes? Why are shallow ponds with little vegetation important
to whooping cranes? What makes power lines perilous
for whooping cranes?
Invite students to brainstorm ways they can change the cause/effect
relationships that affect the whooping cranes? journey. Encourage students
to evaluate their brainstormed ideas based on the following
criteria: Cost? Feasibility? Timetable? Resources (People
and Materials)? Community Support?
Over nearly a 40-year period, of 13 cranes that died
during the migration and were found by people, 5 hit
power lines, 4 suffered trauma due to collisions or gunshot
injuries, 1 was shot, 1 died in a muskrat trap, 1 may
have had a heart muscle disease, and 1 may have had a
viral infection. What percentage of those crane deaths
was directly related to human activities? Tom Stehn says, "If humans could minimize these
impacts to cranes, the whooping cranes would do just fine. But humans continue to
build more power lines, cell towers, and fences, and the whooping crane remains very
much endangered." Humans are part of the problem but also part of
1. What actions do you think people should take to help minimize the dangers to cranes
2. If cell towers are being built in your community, find out who to contact. What
points would you make to them? Your opinions count!
Making Connections: Why Should We Care?
1. What are the cause/effect relationships that could
occur if the whooping cranes? migratory journey becomes too dangerous?
2. What would happen if fewer and fewer cranes were able to survive the journey?
3. Why should humans care? How can we make a difference?
Evaluation (Examine Author' s Strategies)
1. How did the author help you understand the seriousness of the dangers for whooping
cranes? What words and phrases created the serious tone for this issue?
2. How would you categorize this selection: descriptive? persuasive? expository?
narrative? expressive? combination? State your opinion and use examples from the
text to support your reasoning.
3. How effective was this piece? Did you as a reader
connect with the author?s message?
Use samples from the text to support your opinion.
Write a story about a flock of cranes making their journey north. Use the
details you learned from the article to plot out problems and solutions for your
Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper to convince companies and
influential groups to get involved in helping whooping cranes make safe journeys.
One topic might be limiting the number or height of communication towers. Journey
North research link:
Towering Troubles: Bird Collisions
with Communications Towers
Another topic might be the need for good habitat all along the migration trail,
and the wise use of resources for the benefit of both wildlife and human life. Jorney
North research link:
Fresh Water for ALL Texans: Enough
for Both Humans and Wildlife?
a poem that expresses your thoughts and feelings
about the whooping cranes? dangerous