Owl Unit

Amidst all the bitter cold days and snow, my class has been learning about owls for the last few weeks. We looked at the parts of the owl, their habitats, and distinctive characteristics that set them apart from other birds and even other owls. My kiddos loved this unit! I thought dinosaurs were a hit but owls were a big hit with this group of kiddos. I wanted to do another big science experiment with my class so I began researching owl pellets. I found this book called Owl Puke that came with an owl pellet so I found a bundle on Amazon and I ended up with 5 pellets to use in my classroom.

The day of the experiment we began by talking about the anatomy of the prey. (Of course the kids think it is gross and great when you tell them they will be working with owl puke!) I pulled out my pop-up Human Body book and we looked at human bones. {I scored this book at B&N years ago for only $5! Check their clearance items when you go!}

We also looked at X-Rays of different body parts to help put in perspective what we would be looking for. {I scored this amazing kit at Ollie's for $4. I simply LOVE a good bargain!}

Each group's materials:
  • butcher paper
  • washable markers
  • paper plate
  • 2 plastic spoons
  • toothpicks
  • bone identification worksheet
  • owl pellet

    These anchor charts are hanging in our classroom window as reinforcement.

The students were under strict instructions that they were allowed to touch the pellet but could not touch their face or mouth after beginning the dissection. They were encouraged to use communication strategies while talking to one another as they broke apart their owl pellet. They began to pull the bones out of the pellet and set those on the butcher paper while the other materials were left on the plates.

 Once all of the bones were removed the students began to identify their bones. Many of them drew circles around the bone and began to label.


We did a comparison of each owl pellet by having members of each team state what they believed their owl ate and the evidence to support their conclusion. I loved that I was able to tie in text features with the anatomy diagrams.

**All students have given written permission to have their photos used in this blog.**

We just had a text feature component on our reading test yesterday. It was like watching light bulbs go off when I said the word diagram. Several students said, "Hey, Mrs. Hawley we just talked about that!" Hello, how awesome is that?! Finally, we did a walk through/gallery style and they were able to look at the other groups discovery. Fantastic way to end a short week and gear up for a new animal unit!

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