Gone Cuckoo Classroom Activities


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Adoption isn’t just for children. In the animal kingdom, cuckoo birds find foster parents to raise their young. Mama Cuckoo lays an egg in a nest where Mama Warbler has laid three eggs. Mama and Papa Warbler accept the cuckoo egg as their own. Gone Cuckoo is a compelling story of the loving, powerful relationship between parent and youngster. After much misadventure Mama and Papa Cuckoo realize the beauty of their adopted nestling is to let the bird be the bird he was born to be…a cuckoo.

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Classroom Activities

Discussion Questions:

1.  Look at the title and front cover. What do you think this story is about?
2.  Why did Mama Cuckoo lay an egg in another bird’s nest? Is that the right thing to do? Why or why not?
3.  Why do you think Mama and Papa Warbler raised the cuckoo as their own?
4.  Why did the cuckoo have such a difficult time in Warbler school?
5.  What do you think “gone cuckoo” means?
6.  What is an important event in this story? Why is it important?
7.  How did the cuckoo bird feel when he received his report card? How could you tell what he was feeling?
8.  Is being different good or bad? Explain your answer.
9.  What is adoption?
10. Do you think the cuckoo bird was happy with his warbler family? Explain your answer.

Reading aloud:

Ask students to predict what they think will happen next in the story as you turn the pages.


Step into a world where birds are like humans—they talk, feel, share, and think like we do! Imagine being friends with other creatures and where those creatures could talk, play games, and work with you! In this imaginary world, there are no limits to interacting with animals! This is the world of personification!

Students will write a story about animals that talk, play, and work.

Venn diagram:

Students will work in teams to create a Venn diagram. Note text where the author uses realistic and fantastic elements to create a believable story where the reader can make personal connections with characters that are birds. Example: attending school.


Using reference books, students will compare and contrast the warblers and cuckoo birds by identifying at least two similarities and two differences between them.