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An excerpt from the The Audubon Climate Report:

       "Climate change threatens 314 species of birds in North America. But you can help them have a brighter future. Below are [a few] ideas to get started..."

"Show Your Community That Birds Matter: Ask your local leaders what they are doing to protect wildlife in the face of climate change. Share memories of your favorite birds with your community groups, or consider a field trip to a local Important Bird Area (IBA) to emphasize the species at home that need our help. Reach more people by writing a letter to your newspaper, speaking at a community event, or visiting a local school and sharing why birds are important to you.


Start at Home: Create safe places for birds to rest and nest in your yard and community by using fewer pesticides, letting dead trees stand, installing bird baths, and converting lawns and gardens to native plants. School grounds, parks, vacant lots, and common areas can all be “bird-scaped,” too. Consider a DIY birdbath or turning breakfast into a bird feeder."

Finally, simply talking about the Florida Scrub Jay with your peers can spread awareness in leaps and bounds. A little love goes a long way for helping our environment. Draw a picture of the Florida Scrub Jay and write a pledge saying one way you can try to help the environment today. Post a picture of your pledge on Instagram and tag it #FLGeoWeek.


The Florida Scrub Jay is a unique bird with an incredible story. Thank you for sharing this week with us and learning about our avian friends in the Florida Scrub - let's work together to keep their habitat safe and healthy for many years to come!

NOVEMBER 12 - 18
Friday, November 17th 2017



Why should Florida residents care and act on conserving the Florida Scrub jay habitat?


November 17th, 2017


Special Note: There are four articles for students to read during this lesson. Time constraints may be present a challenge to read all four. We suggest that you begin with the two Tampa Bay Time articles and, if time allows, follow-up with the two National Geographic Articles.


Students will read informational texts to build on their understanding of the challenges the Florida Scrub Jay faces today but also other threatened and endangered species. Included with the texts is an article that shares the good news of a once endangered species now on the rebound.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will learn the concepts of: endangered, threatened, vulnerable, and Endangered Species Act

  • Students will learn the difference between a newspaper article and an editorial; and compare and contrast the two


  • Endangered

  • Threatened

  • Vulnerable

  • Endangered Species Act

  • Newspaper Article

  • Newspaper Editorial

Informational Texts:

Newspaper Article-Tampa Bay Times

Originally published Friday, December 23, 2016​

Editorial-Tampa Bay Times

Originally published: Thursday, December 31, 2015​


National Geographic Society Explore

By Verlynn Klinkenborg

Adapted from “Last One,” in , January 2009

Photographs by Joel Sartore

Pages 18-25 here, and text only here.

National Geographic Society Explore

By Douglas H. Chadwick

Adapted from “Right Whales: On the Brink, On the Rebound,” in National Geographic, October 2008

Photographs by Brian Skerry

pgs. 26-31, here, and text only here.


  • Project the definitions of newspaper article and newspaper editorial on the board:


Newspaper Article

Article sharing information, using facts and data.​


Newspaper Editorial

A column or editorial that provides information but told with bias and opinion.

  • Ask students to brainstorm examples of both; it may be helpful to provide a copy of the local paper to students and have them locate examples and share with the class.

  • Explain to students they will read an example of both article and editorial and provide each student with their own copies.

  • Direct students to number the paragraphs on both documents.

  • Begin with the newspaper article, “Threatened Scrub Jay Population May be Only Four in Hillsborough,” and guide students to do the following:          

    • Briefly skim the article.

    • Highlight or box challenging or unfamiliar words or concepts.

    • Read the article.

    • Once this is completed students may add words or concepts to their vocabulary handout.

  • Debrief both by completing a Venn Diagram that compares and contrast information found in both articles.

  • While the teacher is completing the Venn Diagram on the board with student responses, students will follow along and complete their own copy.

Informal Assessment:

"In your opinion, based on information provided in the article and editorial, what is the biggest challenge to the survival of the Florida Scrub Jay and why should it be protected?"




Identify one way you can influence a person to take action in conserving vulnerable habitats found throughout Florida.

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