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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 馃檪 ).
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!
  1. Mrs. Parker says:

    Looks like fun! Aren't QR codes great?!

  2. Tara says:

    What a learning packed and fun day:) So fun Molly! I wish we did owls:/ I may just have to sneak it in somehow:) Thanks for sharing:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. Wow!!! This is great!

    We have a science special and they dissected owl pellets in there. Our district has STILL not decided on a tablet to use and I am so ready to get my hands on all this fun technology!!

    We don't teach owls specifically but we do teach ecosystems. I can see how this would go with habitats or adaptations!

    My classroom "theme" is owls. I am going to have to go to Michaels because what you got is so cute!!

    Great post!! Thanks!
    Collaboration Cuties

  4. Katrina says:

    When I taught 3rd grade my students dissected owl pellets when we studied the skeletal system. The kids loved it!! I'm glad I found your blog. It's always nice to find anothee upper elementary blog. I'm your newest follower.

    Teacher of Scholars

  5. Loved reading this post about your students' exploration of owls! I really like how you integrated QR codes. I just stumbled upon your blog and will be back often. While I am a second grade teacher, as a former fifth grade teacher I know how so many strategies/ideas are universal. Look forward to stopping back often…

  6. I love dissecting owl pellets! I've never heard of Owl Puke-going to add it to my Amazon wish list! Have you read Poppy by Avi-love it! Check it out! The villain is an owl!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. Rochelle Chatburn says:

    Hi, Love how you set up the learning with the different owl information sheets. The page has been removed from kidwings, however. Is there any way you could share those with me? Thanks!

  8. Ms. Skadsen says:

    Can you tell me how you got those information sheets. I really would like to have them for my science lessons/research on owls.

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