Lesson 21.3: Social Studies Connection

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Follow the Leader

Eleven sandhill cranes left a northern state last fall. The birds followed an airplane as it flew all the way south. Each fall, sandhill cranes travel from cold places in the north to warm ones in the south. Most learn to do this by following their parents. But these cranes learned by following a scientist's plane.

When the sandhill crane chicks hatched, they looked up. They saw a scientist dressed like a crane. The scientist fed the chicks. The chicks thought the scientist was their mother.

The scientist trained the chicks to follow a plane. He played a tape of sounds that planes make. He played sounds that adult sandhill cranes make. As the chicks grew up, they learned to follow planes that made these sounds.

The sandhill cranes were helping other cranes called whooping cranes. Many sandhill cranes live in the U.S. But few whooping cranes live here anymore. Most whooping cranes do not know how to migrate from north to south. Scientists learned from teaching the sandhill cranes. They hope to teach whooping cranes to migrate in the same way.

Word Wise

The season that follows summer: We will go back to school in the fall.

A large bird with a long neck, long legs, and a long bill: The bird watchers spotted a crane in the marsh.

A baby bird: The chick is learning to fly.

A grownup: You must be an adult to fly a plane.

To move to another area when the seasons change: Many kinds of birds migrate south for the winter.

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The word “sandhill” is made up of 2 words: “sand” and “hill.”

Copy the sentences below on a sheet of paper.
Complete each word that starts with “sand-.”

  • The baby is digging in the sandblank.
  • Rub sandblank on wood to make it smooth.
  • I will eat a sandblank for lunch.

Data Hunt

Many people travel in the sky in airplanes. Airplanes travel very fast. Another way to travel by air is much slower, but is a lot of fun. People like to fly in a hot-air balloon.

Have you ever seen a hot-air balloon up high? A basket is tied to the balloon. People climb into the basket. Then the pilot makes the balloon and basket go up.

When the balloon catches the wind, it moves through the air. Then the pilot makes the balloon go up again. Now the wind moves it along in another direction.

Imagine you are in a hot-air balloon.
Your pilot makes the balloon go up 251 feet.
Then he makes the balloon go up 367 feet more.

  • How far did the balloon go up in all? Write a math sentence to solve this problem.
  • Write your own word problem about a hot-air balloon. Share your word problem with a classmate.