Meet This Bird's Hero

Condors are in danger. But Joe Burnett is doing everything he can to help them.

Lexile Level: 650L / Guided Reading Level: N / DRA level: 28

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Learning Objective

Students will learn essential paragraph-writing skills while they learn about condor recovery efforts.

Featured Skill


Content-Area Connections

Science: animals

Key Skills

Writing, summarizing

Teaching Materials

Activity Sheets

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Paragraph Writing Template

Teaching Extras


We say in our article that condors have a 10-foot wingspan. Drive home to your students just how huge this is by measuring and marking 10 feet on the floor or the wall. Your students will be shocked!

Fun fact

Here’s a fact to share: California condors almost became extinct in the 1980s. When it got to the point where there were fewer than 10 condors left in the wild, they were all captured and brought into captivity. The first condors were reintroduced into the wild in 1992.

Why all the fuss?

Why all the fuss about one species of bird? Condors are scavengers, and scavengers are vital to the ecosystem. They’re basically nature’s cleanup crew, since they eat dead animals. If dead animals were to lay around, they would rot and could spread diseases to other animals.

Baby condor chick

Condors won’t be winning any beauty contests, but we bet your students will find this video of a month-old condor chick adorable!

Condor education

You can also share this video about how a group of California elementary-school students are learning about the condor, up close and personal.