OWL UNIT STUDY
The following unit study outline is just a collection of ideas from our family & the Osborne family. We each did our own OWL UNIT STUDY separately and then compared notes. We have included links on this page to interesting online sites dealing with owls. We thought they'd make your study just a little bit more fun. SO ENJOY!!
All about Owls by Jim Arnosky
The Owl in the Tree, by Oxford Scientific Films
The Life cycle of an owl by Jill Bailey
An owl in the house - a naturalist's diary, by Bernard Heinrich
Buffy the Barn Owl by Jane Burton
Tigers with wings: the great horned owl by Barbara Esbensen
Owl by Kim Taylor
Spotted Owl: bird of the ancient forest by Brenda Guberson
Biography of a snowy Owl by Hopf
Owls: Whoo are they? by Kila Jarvis
My little book of burrowing owls by Marston
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
VIDEOS: (I found these through interlibrary loan - you may be able to find these or or different videos through your own library).
Two little owls 20 minutes
Master hunter of the night 22 minutes
Forest animals 30 minutes
perched roosting pellets mites
nocturnal habitat predator
prey talons camouflaged regurgitated
mate communicate courtship preening
offspring territory vulnerable nesting
egg tooth incubation
Write out the vocabulary words with their meaning. Using the words from the list above write out your own story about an owl, their eating habits, raising of their young, nest building, habitats, etc.
Sketch owls and use the sketches to illustrate the story you wrote on an owl. This can also be bound in a book form either by stapling or punch holing or using the
Valerie Bendt's book Creating
Books with Children.
Make a food chain poster with the owl at the top and then in a circle with arrows the animals the owl eats followed by what the animals eat - down to grass. You can use pictures from older magazines or draw and color them.
owl pellets. There are two ways of doing this. You can either soak them and pull them apart or you pull them apart dry. We prefered to pull them apart dry. Then sort the bones and using a bone chart try to figure out what the owl had for dinner. By finding the skull and comparing it with a bone chart you can figure this out alittle easier.
TO PURCHASE AN OWL PELLET KIT
Take the bones and remove any fur from them. After sorting the bones try and reassemble the animal that was eaten by laying bones flat. Once you have all bones in order, take a piece of stiff cardboard and cover it with black cloth (gluing the cloth down), once this is dry then move your bones one by one to the Black cloth covered cardboard and glue in right order. Then type out the names for all the bones and the scientific name for the owl and the animal eaten by the owl. Cut out these words and glue next to the bones they represent. This can be framed and put under glass & hung a wall or they can be donated to a school or library, if your child can part with it. Mine can't. Too much effort and fun went into it. By using an
owl pellet kit you get teacher's instructions, pellets, posters & the bone sorting chart - which is necessary.
Take a nature walk and try to determine if there are any owls that live around your area (especially your home). Also going on a field trip to the zoo will give you an opportunity to see some owls.
A fun activity may be collecting pictures of owls from magazines and using a field guide labeling their names (an older child can label their scientific names).
Using the data sheet provided in the owl pellet kit or one you make up yourself, count out the numbers of different types of bones (how many skulls, leg bones etc). An owl pellet usually contains more than 1 animal skeleton. If you dissected more than one pellet, graph the results of the bone counts.
Discuss how God provides for all from the owl to the larvae found in the pellets. How does it all work together?
Discuss why owls regurgitate the pellets instead of digesting the small bones.
Discuss the type of habitat an owl lives in. Discuss the type of nest the have.
Discuss the vision of owls and their unique eyelids.
Well, that should get you started discovering owls and their habitats. We learned alot and I am sure you will come up with your own ideas. Below you will find links for some interesting sites.
Northern Barred Owls
Jennifer's Owl page (many pictures of owls & many links & stories)
Lou's Owl page (has lots of info on the diet of owls, eggs, feeding, nest, etc)
Owl's Nest (they have a trivia game where if you name the owl making the hoot you get a free bumper sticker)
OWL Info (this site has many many audio clips of owls & other birds of prey).
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