Lesson of the geese (2)

Matthew S. Staben

Photo courtesy Matthew S. Staben

CANADIAN GEESE are very intelligent [smart] birds. Every winter they fly 1000s of miles from Canada to southern states in the United States. Then, in the spring, they return again to Canada. All their lives, every year they follow the same route [way]! They can fly over 500 miles [800 kilometers] in one day. Their secret is that they never fly alone. They fly in a flock [group].



     Some people wait all winter for that first day when you see the geese returning. You know spring has come. When you look up in the sky and see the geese flying, you see that they fly in a “V” shape. There is a reason geese fly in a “V” shape. When the birds in the front flap [move] their wings to fly, it pushes air to the birds in the back to help lift them up. So the “V” shape makes it easier for the birds to fly.

     But there is more to the story. The bird in the very front works the hardest. So, when he gets tired, another bird takes his place. The bird that is tired goes to the back of the “V” where it is easier to fly.

     Birds that are not so strong fly in the back. But they have a job too!  They “honk,” or call out, to the birds in the front to encourage them to keep going. It’s like your teacher telling you, “Good job!  You can do it!” The birds in the back call out to the birds in the front to tell them to keep going.

     If a bird gets sick and must go down to land, two other birds leave the flock [group] and stay with the sick bird until it is well and can fly again.

     A bird flying alone can fly about 15o miles in one day if the wind is strong to help him. But birds flying together can fly over 600 miles in one day.

  Now, please write what lessons you learned from the geese. Then, when you are done, watch this really beautiful video. Does the video give you new ideas to write about?

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