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Birds, Fractions and Percentages


Subject: Mathematics, Science, Vocational Ed
Grade: 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students learn fractions and percentages in real-life applications.


Students learn about fractions, percentages, spreadsheets, and computers.


fractions, percentages, birds

Materials Needed


computer(s) with Internet access, bird listservs, teacher-selected bird identifying books, spreadsheet program

Lesson Plan


  • Depending on your students abilities, assign each student one state or more than one state. Have students watch and record species of birds seen, sign up on bird listservs, post what species of birds they are looking for, and check e-mail daily to find results. Then have students create a spreadsheet to record the results. Students also use books about birds to help them identify species of birds.
  • Have students continue the study for one month. At the end of the month, have students present their results in the form of a survey report that uses fractions and percents. In the report, students calculate how many birds were seen in their assigned state or states compared to the total number of species in that area. For example, Maine has 11 species of owls. A student records that 10 of the 11 species of owls were seen during the month. The student presents that result as a fraction (10/11) and a percent (91 percent).

    Extension activity: Have students compare their results state to state.

    Variation: This lesson can also be taught using species of plants.

    Teacher Note: I used this lesson for a special education service but it could be used in any setting. I have now seen over 100 of the total 320 species of birds in Maine!


Create a test on fractions and percent using the bird information students that students learned in the lesson.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted by: Regina Marsters, ([email protected]) S.A.D. #6, Buxton, Maine




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