Flightless Birds

There are four videos to choose from to learn about flightless birds.

The first two are better for younger kids, the second two will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or all four!

You may see a number of other videos that are a deeper dive into things you might be interested in. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities and/or a project. 

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects in the Projects section. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz.

Take A Deeper Dive!

Why Can’t Some Birds Fly?

Learn About Specific Types of Flightless Birds


Write a Poem

Listen to the poem in the video about the Tasmanian Native Hen, a flightless bird. Write a poem about one of the flightless birds you learned about in this block. It can be written in any poetry form you like. Check out this list of types of poetry from readingrockets.org for some ideas.

Add your poem to your portfolio.

Be A Flightless Bird Watcher

Pick a video from the deep dive section about specific types of birds. Pick a flightless bird to watch. Imagine what it would be like to see the bird in person. Use this guide from thejoyfilledmom.com to record information about the bird you choose. Add your notes to your portfolio.

Create A Page For Your Science Notebook

Scientific Drawing

Create a detailed drawing based on what you have learned about flightless birds. Try to draw a Kiwi by watching the video or draw any flightless bird you like. 


  • Your best drawing of the bird
  • Label the important parts


Pay attention to any new vocabulary you encounter in this lesson. Write down the new words and their definitions.


Record any questions you have that remain unanswered. Take the time to research further and find the answers. Record those in your notebook.


Write, or create a video recording, summarizing what you learned.

Add your science notebook page to your portfolio.


Research A Kākāpō

One flightless bird, the Kākāpō, is the only flightless parrot. It is critically endangered. Read about the Kākāpō at The Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai website. Find out where they live, what they eat, and why they are endangered. Use this infographic to learn what problems they face and what conservation efforts are being made to help. You can use this organizer from freeology.com to take notes. Write a paragraph about what you learned.  Add your paragraph to your portfolio.

Advanced Projects

Choose at least one.

Watch A Documentary

Watch the video to learn about the Takahē, a flightless bird once thought to be extinct. Use this guide from cte.iup.edu to take notes as you watch. You can read about recovery efforts at The Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai website. Write a summary of what you learned. Include why the Takahē was thought to be extinct and what efforts are being made now to save the population.  

Don’t forget to add your summary to your portfolio.

Write An Essay

Many of the flightless birds you have learned about are at risk or endangered. There are many conservation efforts in place to protect them. You can read about some efforts at The Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai website to learn about the  Kākāpō, Kiwi and Takahē. Learn about Cassowary Conservation at www.wettropics.gov.au. Or research conservation efforts for any flightless bird. Write an essay about the conservation efforts of one flightless bird and why those efforts are important. 


Download and print this outline tool, from studenthandouts.com, to help you organize your essay. 

Do the research and fill in the notes of what you want to include in your outline. Then, write the essay. Be sure to use a tool like Grammarly to help improve and edit your writing.

Upload your essay to your portfolio.

Create A Powerpoint Or Google Slides Presentation

Use PowerPoint or Google Slides to create a presentation about one flightless bird. Be sure to include the name, characteristics (especially those that pertain to flightlessness), habitat, location in the world, conservation status, conservation efforts, and the bird’s role in its ecosystem. 

Include your presentation in your portfolio. Write a description and then provide a link.


Read Aloud Books

Flightless Birds Ostrich Penguins Read Aloud

Ostrich: The World’s Biggest Bird

NOw Let’s Have some fun!