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Movement & Play, Organisms: Life and Growth


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Biology, World Languages, Spanish


135 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Spanish Lesson: El Colibrí y el Cambio Climático

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
May 23, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn the importance of migratory hummingbirds and how to help them face the impacts of climate change. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students listen to a legend about a hummingbird from the Nasca culture in Peru and wonder about the events in the story.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students explore the diversity of hummingbirds in North America and imagine the life of the ruby-throated hummingbird as it faces the impacts of climate change. 

Step 3 - Inspire: Students reflect on efforts to support hummingbirds in Mexico and create an imaginative response of their own.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson encourages students to look for hummingbirds in their local environment and feel connected to the natural world and their neighboring country, Mexico.
  • The lesson exposes students to the diversity of Indigenous peoples in the Americas through Indigenous language names for hummingbirds in Mexico and the stories from three different Indigenous cultures.
  • This lesson could connect with a Day of the Dead lesson by beginning with the video of the Aztec legend about the relationship between the cempasúchil flower and the hummingbird.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The main species in this lesson, the ruby-throated hummingbird, is currently abundant. In fact, climate change may extend the range of this species farther north as the climate becomes hotter. Students have a high probability of encountering this hummingbird in New Jersey and thus appreciating its tenacity and beauty.
    • Appreciating the local migratory hummingbird can help students understand the concept of  interdependence within communities and across borders.
    • Understanding interdependence and fomenting cross-cultural cooperation are important aspects of finding solutions to climate change.
    • Other species of hummingbirds, as noted on the poster from CONABIO, are more acutely threatened by climate change. Students can discuss why. For example, the more a hummingbird depends on an endemic species of plant (a plant found only in its region) or a more specific microclimate, the more vulnerable it is to disruption from climate change.
  • Teachers can use this resource from Rutgers to further their understanding of the ruby-throated hummingbird.


  • Teachers can use all the activities in the lesson or choose activities that are most apt for their class.
  • Teachers should preview the videos that tell stories about hummingbirds from the Nasca culture and the Aztec culture. These stories include events that students may find sad or scary. For example, the Aztec story includes the death of a warrior whose soul becomes the hummingbird. Students can talk about how they and the characters feel at different moments.
Scientist Notes

This lesson teaches students all about hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are important pollinators, and climate change is hurting their habitat. This lesson passed the scientific review process.

Esta lección enseña a los estudiantes todo sobre los colibríes. Los colibríes son polinizadores importantes y el cambio climático está dañando su hábitat. Esta lección pasó el proceso de revisión científica.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standards

  • Science
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • World Languages
    • Novice Mid
      • 7.1.NM.IPRET.5: Demonstrate comprehension of brief oral and written messages found in short culturally authentic materials on global issues, including climate change.
      • 7.1.NM.IPERS.6: Exchange brief messages with others about climate in the target regions of the world and in one’s own region using memorized and practiced words, phrases, and simple, formulaic sentences.
      • 7.1.NM.PRSNT.6: Name and label tangible cultural products associated with climate change in the target language regions of the world.
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