Share this page:

Bridging the Americas / Unidos por las aves

Already registered?

Log in for teacher resources

BtA logo

Bridging the Americas/Unidos por las Aves is a cross-cultural environmental education program that partners classes in grades 2 through 4 in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. with classes in Latin America.

The paired classes learn and exchange information about the migratory birds that winter in Latin America and return to the U.S. and Canada each spring to breed. Since 1993, close to 30,000 students from classrooms in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, the British Virgin Islands, and Cuba have participated.

For more details read this introduction from the Bridging the Americas interdisciplinary unit on migratory birds.


Unidos por las Aves / Bridging the Americas es un programa intercultural de educación ambiental que vincula a clases de escuela primaria (grados 2 hasta 5) de los Estados Unidos (Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, New Hampshire y Vermont) con clases en Latinoamérica y el Caribe por medio del intercambio de dibujos, cartas y otros materiales enfocados en las aves migratorias neotropicales. Este grupo de aves incluye más de 200 especies que van a los Estados Unidos y Canadá a reproducirse entre abril y agosto y pasan el resto del año en Latinoamérica y el Caribe. Estos viajeros alados simbolizan las interconexiones que existen entre los países americanos.

Desde 1993, han participado aproximadamente 30,000 estudiantes en los Estados Unidos, México, Guatemala, Belice, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, las Islas Vírgenes Británicas y Cuba.

Bridging the Americas/Unidos por las Aves is coordinated by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) which is based at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

The overarching goal is to use migratory birds as an engaging, cross-disciplinary theme that connects students with an accessible and inspirational part of nature, links them with their peers in another part of the world, and motivates them to be good stewards of the environment.

Students gain an appreciation for birds and the need to protect the habitats they depend on throughout the year, an awareness of the threats birds face and actions people can take to help ensure their survival, and an enhanced understanding of their partner class' country and culture.


Unidos por las Aves/ Bridging the Americas es coordinado por el Centro de Aves Migratorias del Smithsonian Institution. El objetivo principal es utilizar las aves migratorias como un tema que conecta a los estudiantes con una parte accesible e inspiradora de la naturaleza y con sus compañeros en otras partes del mundo, y los motive a ser buenos defensores del medio ambiente. Los estudiantes aprenden a apreciar a las aves y la necesidad de proteger los hábitats de los cuales dependen a lo largo de todo el año, a tomar conciencia de las amenazas que las aves enfrentan y acciones que la gente puede tomar para ayudar a asegurar su supervivencia, y a tener un mayor entendimiento del país y la cultura de su clase compañera.

Each class in the U.S. is partnered with a class in Latin America or the Caribbean for the school year. Participating teachers receive a packet of teaching aids and information on migratory birds and their partner class' country. The students in the partnered classes learn about the migratory birds that connect their communities and about each other through the preparation and exchange of letters, artwork featuring migratory birds, photos, and other creative materials. In some instances, partnered classes are able to communicate via video-calls or email as well.

Letters sent to the partner class in Latin America or the Caribbean may need to be in Spanish. Teachers are encouraged to work with a volunteer from the school or community to translate letters written by individual students. If no such arrangement is possible, the SMBC will translate a letter from the class as a whole.


Todos los profesores que participan reciben un paquete de materiales didácticos sobre las aves migratorias. Cada clase de estudiantes en Latinoamérica y el Caribe se empareja con una clase en los Estados Unidos. Los estudiantes aprenden sobre las aves migratorias como algo especial que comparten ambos grupos, y sobre el país y la cultura de la clase compañera. Los estudiantes intercambian dibujos, cartas, y otros materiales que reflejan lo que han aprendido. También se les fomenta a completar un proyecto beneficioso para las aves.

This is a flexible, cross-curricular program. Teachers are free to adapt it to fit their particular situation. The only requirements are that you engage your students in learning about migratory birds and about your partner class' country and that you complete one exchange of materials with your partner class.

You will be provided with an interdisciplinary unit on migratory birds that is aligned with Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, as well as Next Generation Science Standards, and Virginia State Standards of Learning for English, Science, History and Social Studies.  This unit guides student learning and the preparation of materials to send to your partner class.


Además de crear conciencia sobre las aves migratorias y sobre la necesidad de proteger sus hábitats, este programa ofrece un innovador enfoque para enseñar geografía, estudios sociales, ciencias, arte, destrezas de lectoescritura, e inglés como lengua extranjera. Las aves ofrecen un tema interdisciplinario del cual se pueden explorar una serie de tópicos relacionados.

Este es un programa tan flexible que los maestros pueden adaptarlo a su situación específica. Los únicos requisitos son que involucre a sus alumnos en el aprendizaje sobre las aves migratorias y que intercambien dibujos y cartas con su grupo compañero.

Bridging the Americas/Unidos por las Aves is open to elementary school teachers of grades 2 through 4 in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

The cost for a teacher in the U.S. to participate is $35. This fee covers one teacher with one class of up to 30 students. An additional $10 covers each additional class of up to 30 students.Once you have submitted the sign-up form and space in the program has been confirmed, you will receive an invoice requesting that a check be made out to Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and mailed to:

Attn: Mary Deinlein
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center/National Zoo 
PO Box 37012 MRC 5503
Washington, DC 20012-7012

If you have questions about participating in the program, please email smbc@si.edu.

Waiver Request

Because the program is subsidized by other funding sources, we are able to keep this fee to a small fraction of the actual costs, which include the materials provided to teachers, a classroom visit and presentation by an educator on our staff, international courier fees, and all that's involved in managing the logistics of partnering and communicating with classes in other countries.

We hope this fee will not prohibit any interested teachers from participating, and that it is viewed as a small price to pay relative to what the program offers. Any teacher who wishes to participate but cannot pay this fee is encouraged to submit a request for a waiver.

Waiver Request

Because the program is subsidized by other funding sources, we are able to keep this fee to a small fraction of the actual costs, which include the materials provided to teachers, a classroom visit and presentation by an educator on our staff, international courier fees, and all that's involved in managing the logistics of partnering and communicating with classes in other countries.

We hope this fee will not prohibit any interested teachers from participating, and that it is viewed as a small price to pay relative to what the program offers. Any teacher who wishes to participate but cannot pay this fee is encouraged to submit a request for a waiver.

Apply for a waiver


Si usted es un maestro en Latinoamérica o el Caribe, la participación en Unidos por las Aves/ Bridging the Americas es gratuita. El único costo es un compromiso a explorar con sus estudiantes el mundo de las aves migratorias y llevar a cabo un intercambio de materiales con su clase compañera. Si usted está interesado(a) en participar, por favor complete el siguiente formulario.  

Si tiene preguntas, por favor comuníquese con nosotros a: smbc@si.edu

Sign-up Form for Teachers in the U.S.

If you are interested in participating, please complete and submit this application form.

Teacher Info

Briefly explain why you are interested in participating and what you would hope to gain.

School Info
Student Info

 

 

Formulario de solicitud para maestros de Latina América

Si está interesado en participar, por favor complete el siguiente formulario.

Maestro(a)

Por favor, explique brevemente por qué está interesado(a) en participar y qué espera del programa. ¿Habla Inglés? (No es necesario que hable inglés, pero sería útil para nosotros tener esta información)

Escuela
Estudiantes