Eat Like a Bird

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Birds' beaks are designed to allow birds to get the most of whatever food they need. In this activity, learners get an idea of how different beak shapes suit different food sources. This activity can be done as a relay race with teams, or adapted to another presentation style.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Activity sheet for each kid
  • Pencils (one per kid)
  • Cups (one per group)
  • 10 tongue depressors
  • Masking tape
  • 3-5 of each of the following "beaks": round toothpicks (flat toothpicks break too easily), spring-action wooden clothespins, spoons, and forks
  • "Food" items (at least three of each item per kid): marbles, dried lima beans, dried kidney beans, pennies, paperclips, paper wadded into grape-sized balls, and thin rubber bands


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Biodiversity
    • Evolution
      • Evidence for Evolution
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • WGBH

Source Collection

  • FETCH!


  • All rights reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, 2006

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0452485
  • Public television viewers
  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
  • Arby's
  • Greendog