Thursday, October 30, 2014

Playing With Owl "Poop" {An Owl Pellet FREEBIE}

Happy Thursday folks!  Lindsay here . . .
Did y'all watch the baseball game last night??!!  It. Was. So. Good.
I mean, we aren't really "baseball people" at my house . . . we are more like "hey-its-the-World-Series-so-lets-order-a-pizza-and-cheer-for-someone" people . . . Football season?   Totally different story though.  Chargers fans ONLY. :)
The point being . . . even we appreciated what a great World Series that was!  Go Giants!! 
Well . . .  it has been awhile since I posted anything on the blog (okay a LONG while!) but tonight I am here with a fun fall FREEBIE to share!
I have been having so much fun this year doing a science notebook with my kiddos!  They are so cute and SO SERIOUS about being little scientists!  So far this year we have learned all about apples, what living things need to survive, the life cycle of a pumpkin, properties of objects an owls!!
Here is a quick peek at my Kindergarten Science Notebook {Fall Edition} - you can click on the image below to get more details in my TPT store:
Just last week I wrapped up my owl unit with my kinder kiddos . . .
(Confession: I had never taught owls before. Ever. Like, never ever EVER!!)
Kerri, on the other hand, is an owl NUT.  And she has always told me how much fun her kids have every year learning about owls and checking out their owl pellets . . .
Owl pellets?  As in, owl POOP??!!
Of course, Kerri soon corrected me that, in fact, owls do NOT poop out pellets, but rather cough up (regurgitate, if you will) the pellets, which contain the hair and fur of their most recent meal. :)
In order to lead my kiddos in becoming "owl experts", I jumped onto Amazon and ordered some fabulous new owl books.  My favorite was this one by Gail Gibbons:
Next, my kiddos and I started reading and using our science notebooks to diagram and write about our owls! 
Their awesome step-draw owls are my favorite!!!  

We also took the information that we learned and created a tree map of owl facts as a group . . .
And then again in their science notebooks!
Our FINAL owl activity was digging in to owl pellets!  I debated whether it would be better to have my kiddos each have their own pellet to dissect with their big 6th grade buddy OR if it would just be easier to do one pellet together as a group.
As a was perusing the Scholastic Book catalog I stumbled across this: Owl Puke (book + pellet kit). 
Yes, I know. The name is SUPER scientific, right?? ;)
Looking back, I actually think that for my kinders it worked really great to do this activity whole group under the document camera and discuss it as we went along . . .  Here was our set-up:

 (Notice the cup of coffee - I can't tackle an owl puke activity without my caffeine people!!)

And here is what we found!! I wish that I would have taken a closer shot of the awesome skull that we found (in the middle of the black paper). It had some gnarly teeth!!! We had lots of fun zooming the document camera in on the bones so the kids could see all the details!

To get my kids even MORE excited about this activity (and to give them something to do as they watched the action unfold on the board in front of them), I created this recording sheet {click the image below to download}:

The format of this FREEBIE follows my science notebook, but you could totally do it as a stand-alone activity as well!
I talked with my students about WHAT might be inside our owl pellet, and that it was most likely either a bird or a rodent of some sort.  Each student made a prediction on their paper by circling the animal they thought we would find.
Next, we unwrapped the pellet (it TOTALLY looked like a tiny Chipotle burrito if you ask me!!) and we drew it in the box.
Finally, we counted our bones, identified what type of animal our owl had eaten, and determined whether or not our prediction was right. (It was a rodent . . . you were just dying to know, right??)
So that's it!  I think I'm an Official Owl Expert or something now.:)
Hope you can use this FREEBIE with your own class! 
Have a good night!


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