Gifts of an Eagle

Your Name:Nancy Garcilazo
School: Glendale Adventist Elementary
E-mail Address:
Published Date: November, 2010
Subject(s): Pathways Reading Technology
Intended Grade Level(s): 7

Description: A literature unit integrating technology with the Pathways theme book "Gifts of an Eagle". The unit consists of prereading activities to establish background knowledge prior to reading the book. There are also journal prompts, comprehension activities, and vocabulary development activities to use while reading the book. The unit culminates with a technology presentation project.

Pathways Theme, Goals, and Skills:
Pathways Theme 3: Living Things
  1. To build students' appreciation for and enjoyment of reading.
  2. To increase students' knowledge of living things in general and golden eagles specifically
  3. To increase students' knowledge of and skill in using technological resources such as
    • Word processing and presentation software
    • Internet information resources
    • Wiki's, blogs, and other internet based information sharing resources
    • Glogs, animoto, and other internet based presentation tools

Pathways Target Skills addressed in this unit:
  • Reads to obtain information
  • Writes using a variety of genres
  • Edits for spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Writes paragraphs with main ideas and details
  • Recognizes and reads grade-appropriate sight words
  • Writes summaries
  • Uses graphic organizers, diagrams, story maps, etc.
  • Predicts outcomes
  • Uses reference resources including electronic media
  • Reads, spells, and writes multi-syllabic words

Faith Integration:
Isaiah 40:31 "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Adopt this verse as the class "motto" for this theme. Have students create banners/posters to hang illustrating the verse. Use Glogster to create virtual posters that can be displayed in a class wiki or blog. Incorporate a nature or "living things" theme for classroom worships using nature themed devotional stories such as those from the book Nature Quest by James and Priscilla Tucker. Students may create an inspirational multimedia presentations using the verse, music, and photos using Powerpoint/Keynotes or Animoto/iMovie.

Technology Standards:
1. Creativity and Innovation
  • Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students
    • apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
    • create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
    • use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
    • identify trends and forecast possibilities.

2. Communication and collaboration
  • Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
    • interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
    • communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
    • develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures
    • contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

3. Research and information fluency
  • Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
    • plan strategies to guide inquiry
    • locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
    • evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
    • evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
    • process data and report results.

Books, references, worksheets:

  • Eagles by Sandra Markle. This book is an information/picture book that students with lower reading/interest levels will enjoy.
  • Golden Eagle: Sovereign of the Skies by Charles R. Preston. This book is also an information book that is illustrated with photographs. Written at a more difficult reading level.


Spelling Lists:

  • A copy of "Gifts of an Eagle" by Kent Durden for each student
  • A copy of the "Gifts of an Eagle" Daily Lesson Guide
  • A computers with internet access
  • Word processing software (usually includes presentation software as well)
  • Multimedia software such as iMovie, Windows Moviemaker, or access to online multimedia tools such as Animoto, Creaza, or Glogster.
  • Access to a class Wiki such as Wikispaces or a blog such as

Teacher Preparation:
  • Read the book "Gifts of an Eagle" and browse through the DLG.
  • Set up a class Wiki or blog for student journaling and discussions.
  • Browse through internet applications such as Animoto, Creaza, and Glogster.

Student Preparation:
  • Be familiar with basic computer functions.
  • Basic keyboarding skills
  • Be able to carry out a basic Google search and find reliable information.
  • Have an introduction to creating Powerpoint or Keynote presentations--skills learned here should carry over intuitively into other applications.

Activities/Procedures: Activities will be include three broad categories--Prereading, things to do while reading, and post-reading activities.

Before reading the book:
  • Students will find information about raptors, Golden Eagles, and falconry and share their findings with the class
    • Divide students into groups.
    • Assign each group a category for investigation.
    • Students can use the internet resources listed in the "references" section of this unit.
    • Students may informally (orally) share their findings with the class.
    • Findings may be used as part of their final multimedia project.

Activities while reading the book:
  • Journaling
    • Set up a class Wiki or a blog for each student. Students write and respond to their reading on the wiki or blog.
      • Journal prompts:
        1. What is falconry? What do you think about it? Explain.
        2. Discuss what you think about taking an egg or a baby bird from its nest.
        3. Have you ever trained an animal? Explain how you did it. What steps were taken to train Lady?
        4. Why did lady need to "learn" to fly? Discuss some of the problems faced by both Lady and the Durdens as she learned.
        5. If you had a large pet how would you feed it? How would you make sure it had a healthy diet?
        6. Why do you think that Lady was willing to raise babies of other species?
        7. Explain how Lady left home. Have you ever lost a pet? How did you feel? How do you think the Durdens felt when Lady left?

  • Comprehension Activities
    • Students retell portions of the book. They may write/illustrate the portion as a cartoon either by hand or by using Creaza, Animoto, Windows Moviemaker, or iMovie. See "Gifts of an Eagle" DLG p. 26. Have students post their finished project on their blog or Wiki page.
    • Students draw and label the anatomical parts of an eagle, DLG p. 19. While this is probably most easily done using pencil and paper, there are online drawing applications such as Sumo Paint available that students could try.
    • After reading Chapter 5, "Filling the Larder" students do a mini-research report on the diets of eagles. Findings can be posted to their online journal (wiki or blog).

  • Vocabulary Development
    • Divide vocabulary lists between class groups. Each group creates a presentation that defines, illustrates, then uses each word correctly in a sentence. Students may use an online tool such as Glogster or presentation software such as Powerpoint or Keynotes. Post project to blog or Wiki.
    • A "low-tech" but fun way to study vocabulary now and then is to play "Password."
      • Divide the class into two groups.
      • Each group chooses one student to represent them, those two students must go outside the door.
      • Someone inside chooses a vocabulary word, writes it on the board for all to see, then erases the word.
      • When the two representatives come inside, they take turns asking their team for clues to their word. Clues may be one word only.
      • The representative student who correctly guesses the word first earns a point for his/her team.

After reading the book:
  • Students will choose a related topic of their choice or one of the topics listed below, research that topic, then do a multimedia presentation to the class. Multimedia projects can be created using Powerpoint/Keynotes, Animoto/iMovie/Windows Moviemaker, Creaza, or Glogster. Projects must show evidence of research and learning.
    • Project Ideas
      1. Protecting eagle's habitat
      2. The near extinction of eagles
      3. Training animals
      4. Principals of flight
      5. Animal intelligence
      6. The nesting habits of eagles or birds of prey.
      7. Eagle and birds of prey rescue organizations.

Differentiated Instruction:

Students may need support in reading/comprehending "Gifts of an Eagle". If the teacher reads portions of the book aloud while students follow along in their books, comprehension may be increased.
Students of lower ability can be grouped with students of higher ability for reading and projects.
More advanced students can read an additional book that has an animal theme. Students will compare/contrast their book with "Gifts of an Eagle".

Multiple Intelligences:
  • Verbal-Linguistic--Research various aspects of eagle life, raptors, falconry, etc., write mini-reports to share with the class.
  • Logical-Mathematical Investigate the near extinction of eagles and report on how they are doing now. What factors have affected their ability to survive in the wild?
  • Visual-Spatial Create a bulletin board display of hand-drawn and colored eagles--see "How to draw and eagle" for help.
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Investigate principals of flight and share findings with the class
  • Interpersonal Assignments/projects complete individually if desired.
  • Intrapersonal Assignments/projects completed in groups if desired.
  • Naturalistic Visit the local zoo or wild animal rescue association--most have birds of prey on display and some may have eagles. Offer extra credit for student whose families can take a hiking trip into a nearby (hopefully)l wilderness area to look for birds of prey.

The ideal classroom setup would be for each student to have his/her own computer for research, responding, and presenting.


  • Informal mini-reports investigating eagles, raptors, falconry
    • Must gather information from at least 3 sources.
    • Must share information learned with the class orally (in an informal manner).
    • Must turn in written evidence of information--may be in list form but must be written in students' own words, NOT cut and pasted.
    • Must show evidence that all group members contributed.

While reading:
  • Electronic journal
    • Must include at least one entry per chapter.
    • Must be written using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
    • Mini-research and/or vocabulary projects must be posted.

  • Retelling portions of the story
    • If using electronic media
      • Must accurately represent the portion of the story to be retold.
      • Must include pictorial representation of the story.
      • Must include narration explaining the story.
    • If using pencil/paper
      • Must accurately represent the portion of the story to be retold.
      • Must include a pictorial representation of the story.
      • Must include captions explaining the story.
      • Must include color

Post-reading multimedia project: