Search form

About The Blogger

Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
Back to Blog

Using the News in the Classroom: Flamingo Spotting in Texas!

 
 
In the News: Flamingo Spotting!
 
Wildlife officials in south Texas spotted a flamingo. It’s a rare sighting as flamingos are not native to the United States. This flamingo has a name, Number 492, and went missing from a zoo in the state of Kansas thirteen years ago! Seems a captive flamingo can’t fly if its wings are clipped as a baby. However, 492, which is the bird’s leg band number, came from the country of Tanzania and was an adult. Not having had its wings clipped, officials need to cut its feathers on a regular basis. Otherwise, the feathers regrow and flying is possible. Number 492 flew the coup at the Sedgwick County Zoo, in Kansas, with another flamingo, named 347, who hasn’t been seen in years. Wildlife official say the flamingo is about 23 years old and can live in the wild for close to 40 years.
 
Did You Know?
1. Flamingos get their color from the algae and food they eat(such as shrimp crustaceans and plankton). Flamingos are omnivores as they eat both animals and plants.
 
2. Flamingos like to stand on one leg with the other tucked into its feathers.
 
3. Flamingos are very social creatures and like living with other flamingos. Called colonies, the largest flamingo colony is found in East Africa. About 1.5 million flamingos gather here!
 
4. A flamingo can fly at up to 37 mph.
 
5. The oldest flamingo in captivity lived in the Adelaide Zoo in Australian until the age of 83.
 
6. Did you know when a flamingo sits down, it bends its legs backwards?
 
7. The pink plastic flamingo many people place in their yards was invented by Don Featherstone.
 
8. In order to fly, a flamingo needs a running start. With their 3 webbed toes, flamingos actually can run on water(for a short time)!
 
9. When it is time to eat, flamingos turn their heads upside-down and collect water which they strain out of their bills to catch food.
 
10. Interestingly, groups of flamingos can demonstrate an unusual behavior.  They “march” in one direction and suddenly will all suddenly change direction! 
 
11. The word flamingo comes from a Spanish and Latin word “flamenco” meaning “fire”.
 
12. There are 6 species of flamingo. The largest, the “greater flamingo” can measure 5 ft. tall! They only weigh about six pounds.  The “lesser flamingo” is the smallest of flamingos and is about 3 feet tall.
 
Your Turn:
1. Pretend you are a flamingo and tell about a day in your life.
 
2. To you, what  is the most interesting thing about a flamingo?
 
3.  Review the news story. What are 3 specific facts learned from the reading?______________  _____________ _____________.
 
4. Try and create 5 words(3 words or more) from the word flamingo.
 
5. Draw/ color a fact about a flamingo. Share one fact you found of interest on your drawing.
 
 
Teacher Page:
Before giving the students the handout, ask the students to share any prior knowledge they have about the flamingo.
 
Extension Activities:
 
 
 
3. Have students circle and correct any mistakes in the following news story.
 
Wildlife officials in south Texas spotted a flamingo. Its a rare sighting as flamingos isn’t native to the United States. This flamingos has a name, Number 492, and went missing from a zoo in the state of Kansas thirteen years ago! Seems a captive flamingo can’t fly if it’s wings are clipped as a baby. However, 492, which is the birds leg band number, came from the country of Tanzania and was an adult. Not having had it’s wings clipped, officials need to cut its feathers on a regular basis. Otherwise, the feathers regrow and flying is possible. Number 492 flewed the coup at the Sedgwick County Zoo, in Kansas, with another flamingo, named 347, who hasn’t been seen in years. Wildlife official say the flamingo is about 23 years old and can lives in the wild for close to 40 year.
 
 
Checkout my website for teachers/kids!

Gail Hennessey
Feedback is always appreciated.

Gail Hennessey
 
Illustration from wpclipart.com