Eagles and Birds of Prey Unit Study
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He clasps the crag with crooked hands: Simple Science Unit Study of Eagles and Other Birds of Prey, inspired by Tennyson’s “The Eagle”

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We often discuss integrating our memory work with our other studies. But did you know that it can go the other direction, too? If there is a poem that captures your family’s imagination, you have the freedom to use it as a jumping off point for further study. You can explore books related to the topic, pursue hands-on activities, create an art project, and more! “The Eagle,” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, pairs beautifully with a miniature homeschool unit study on eagles and other birds of prey!

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The Poem and the Poet

“The Eagle”
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

(Note: I have a free printable available on my exclusive page for email subscribers. Head here to sign up and gain access!)

The Eagle Tennyson

Tennyson was born on August 6, 1809 and died October 6, 1892, after which he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Tennyson was one of the most popular poets of the Victorian era. Read more: Poetry for Young People: Alfred Lord Tennyson, edited by John Maynard

Things to notice as you read and recite “The Eagle”:

  • Alliteration is the repetition of beginning consonant sounds. How many different examples of alliteration can you find in this poem?
  • Which lines in the poem share the same ending rhyme?
  • Can you find an example of simile? Personification?

Read this Picture Book About Bald Eagles

The Eagles are Back, by Jean Craighead George

This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of how the bald eagle nearly disappeared from the United States in recent history. By 1963, only 417 pairs of bald eagles remained in the United States, and few were producing healthy eggs. This story follows the story of a child who loved and cared for a nearby eagle pair, and the impact that had on the restoration of the American bald eagle.

More Books about Eagles and other Birds of Prey

Art with eagles and other birds of prey

Raptors of North America Coloring Book

Birds of Prey Coloring Book

Law’s Guide to Drawing Birds

Learn Even More About Eagles and Other Raptors: Visit, Protect, and Observe

American Bald Eagle Foundation (raptor center and natural history museum in Alaska)

San Diego Zoo (California)

Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (Washington D.C.)

Raptor Aviary (Pennsylvania)

Carolina Raptor Center (North Carolina)

Hawk Manor Falconry and Birds of Prey Education (North Carolina)
(We actually attended a program here earlier this year and it was fabulous!)

American Eagle Foundation

Cornell Lab of Ornithology: resources for observing and learning more about raptors

Check out this awesome nature study guide from Our Journey Westward! This guide helps bring birds nearer and dearer to your heart through serious observation and study during all seasons of the year. Take your next nature walk up a notch!

Want to learn more about birds after completing this fun textbook-free eagle unit study? Check out all my textbook-free bird resources here!

Poems to memorize in your morning time
Eagle Unit Study Homeschool


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Amy Sloan and her husband, John, are second-generation homeschoolers by grace alone to 5 children ages 4, 7, 9, 12, and 14. Their educational philosophy is one of humility and doxology, and follows primarily a classical approach. Amy loves coffee, and starts getting nervous if the stack of to-be-read library books beside her bed is less than 2 feet tall. Get her started on Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Homer, or Hamilton the Musical and it might be hard to get her to stop. Mostly, though, she gets really excited about the Gospel. The Sloan family adventures in North Carolina.

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