Hummingbirds is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson that allows students to practice grade-appropriate reading comprehension, foundational reading, and reading fluency skills. These reading comprehension lessons are designed to be completed in one or two class settings.

Each lesson discusses a subject that students want to read about and that teachers will want to incorporate into their reading instruction. The lesson is appropriate as a whole-class, stand-alone lesson or as an independent small-group activity. Be sure to check if there is a Learn Bright video that goes with this lesson!

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What our Hummingbirds lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Hummingbirds is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson plan. As such, students will practice various close reading and comprehension skills. In addition, they will learn about hummingbirds’ habitat, diet, and behaviors. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, you need pompoms, wiggly eyes, toothpicks, black markers, cupcake holders, glue, and scissors.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page gives you a little more information on the lesson overall and describes what you may want to focus your teaching on. It explains that you can teach this lesson in a whole-class setting or to an independent, small group as an activity. The blank lines are available for you to write out any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.


What Is a Hummingbird?

The Hummingbirds lesson plan contains three content pages. It begins by providing a box of background information about this tiny animal. Part of the aves class, hummingbirds live in North, South, and Central Americas. Their diet consists of bugs and nectar, and they can live for three to five years.

Ornithologists are scientists who study birds, and they group them into families. The family name for a hummingbird is the Trochilidae. This family has over 350 members or species, making it the second-largest bird family in the world. There are only about 17 species of hummingbird in the United States, and the rest live in Central and South Americas. Most hummingbirds are tiny and weigh less than a penny! The smallest one lives in Peru and is the size of a bee. So people call it the bee hummingbird!

A hummingbird can fly between 25 and 30 miles per hour, as fast as many species of bees. Their wings beat extremely fast to move at this speed, producing a humming sound. This is, of course, where they get their name. Hummingbirds are unique because they can fly forward or backward, or just hover in place. In fact, they are the only birds that can fly backward.

Diet of Hummingbirds

Just like many humans, hummingbirds love sugary treats! They have a high metabolism, which means they need lots of energy. Your metabolism is the chemical reaction in your cells that signify to change food into energy. Hummingbirds get their energy from a sugar called nectar. Most nectar comes from flowers, but people can also make nectar by mixing water and sugar.

Hummingbirds use their long tongues to lap up nectar from flowers. Their tongues have unique grooves to help them eat. However, these birds can’t live on sugar alone. They also need protein, minerals, and vitamins to stay healthy and strong. To get these, they also eat bugs. Usually, hummingbirds will open their long beaks and catch insects in midair while flying.

Students will discover that hummingbirds are very territorial. They pick an area, like a specific flower garden or feeder, and claim it as their own. They do not like to share food from their site and will fight to defend their territory from other hummingbirds or any other kind of bird.

Other Interesting Facts

Because hummingbirds are brightly colored, we often name them after their colorful feathers or unusual appearance. As a result, many names sound like fairies, princesses, or even action figures! Here are some examples: green-crowned woodnymph, black-eared fairy, fire-throated metaltail, and the horned sungem.

In a single day, a hummingbird can feed on hundreds of flowers. With the fastest metabolism of any bird on the planet, they must eat all day long just to get enough energy. Their heart beats over 500 times per minute. In comparison, your heart beats around 60 to 100 times per minute. Because of this, they eat about the weight of their body in one day. In fact, if a hummingbird goes more than a few hours without food, it can starve to death.

Hummingbirds are well known for their great courage. The ancient Aztec Indians that lived in and around Mexico would wear necklaces made of hummingbird feathers before going into battle. They believed the birds had great courage and power. Despite being very small, they defended their territory with great strength against larger birds. Many people today still associate the hummingbird with a symbol of courage.

Why They Are Important

Since hummingbirds eat nectar, they are also responsible for pollinating flowers. As they eat, pollen often falls onto their wings. And since they travel from flower to flower all day, they can pollinate many flowers. They also eat a lot of insects, which helps to keep the population under control. Gardners and farmers love to see hummingbirds around their gardens because they are such excellent pollinators and keep the insect population from eating their crops!

The good news is that there are no endangered hummingbirds in North America. Still, the bad news is that many species are threatened in Central and South Americas. Many of them have lost their habitats and don’t have anywhere to live. Because of this, people are building special parks where hummingbirds can live. They provide lots of flowers, water, and hanging feeders so the hummingbirds can thrive.


The Hummingbirds lesson plan includes two worksheets: an activity worksheet and a practice worksheet. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity, students will get to create their own hummingbirds using the supplies you provide. The worksheet provides a picture to show what the finished products should look like. It also provides clear directions for students to follow to complete the activity. You could choose to provide more supplies if you want so students can make more than one hummingbird.


The practice worksheet lists 11 questions based on the content. These questions all relate to the content pages, so students will need to refer to them often for the answers. In addition, each question provides which reading tool the question corresponds to, such as text feature, vocabulary, or comprehension.

Worksheet Answer Keys

At the end of the lesson plan document is an answer key for the practice worksheet. The correct answers are all in red to make it easier for you to compare them with students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Science, High-Interest Reading

State Educational Standards

Approximate Lexile Reading Comprehension Level: 810L to 1000L

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.