After seeing several amazing posts on teaching about owls and dissecting owl pellets
I knew I wanted to do this with my kiddos! Of course, no unit can be complete without some great books for students to refer to and learn from, so I got online and went to my favorite bookstore to see what I could get my hands on!
These are just a few of the owl books that I found!
And I got these ones too… they just weren’t on the shelf for the picture!
(The Owl Puke book is great and has tons of information on owls as well as cute owl cartoons! I just didn’t realize that it came with an owl pellet too, which I already have plenty of!)
We started off with a read aloud of Owls by Gail Gibbons. It had so much great information and my kiddos were absolutely fascinated! It also led to a little trial with a partner of seeing our pupils dilate and the size difference from light to dark. Gotta love those big owl eyes!
After learning a lot of great information about owls, my kiddos wanted to know more about specific types of owls, which led to our next activity. Kidwings is an absolutely AMAZING website that is an absolute necessity if you are going to teach about owls! Not only do they provide a platform for students to virtually dissect owl pellets, but they also have a lot of great information, including these informational sheets on some of the different owls.
I just printed off the sheets and backed them on construction paper to make them more sturdy (and colorful of course ).
Then I put together a chart that my students could fill out with important information about each owl as they were researching!
You can get the owl characteristics chart from Google Docs here!
I had them work in groups of 3 and they went around the room with their group to the different “owl stations” to learn more about the owls!
Then I brought in another great owl website: The Owl Pages
This website has information on almost (if not) every species of owl, including pictures and audio!! What?! I can’t believe there is so much great information packed into one site! So to help my kiddos continue their research and bring in technology to see real pictures and listen to real owl sounds, I created QR codes to go along with each owl that they were researching.
You can get the Owl QR Codes from Google Docs here!
Note: The QR code takes you to a page that has information on each owl, pictures, and sound clips. Please check the codes before using them with your class to make sure that the links haven’t changed!
When students were done filling out the chart for an owl species, they came up to the front of the classroom to get the iPad and scan the QR code so they could see some great pictures of the owls and hear their different calls.
They were so engaged and it was so neat to see their faces light up when they saw the pictures and heard the owl sounds!
I ordered owl pellets to dissect next week (after we get a chance to get into the computer lab to do the virtual dissection), and I am beyond excited! I haven’t told my class yet that we will be dissecting actual owl pellets yet, and I can’t wait to let them in on the surprise!
Oh, and when I was out at Michaels this weekend, I found tons of great owl things to go along with our unit!
Do you teach about owls?
I would love to know if you use the owl characteristics chart or owl QR codes in your classroom!