This past week we celebrated “Spirt Week” at my school. Each day students were able to come to school out of uniform. (which for us is a BIG deal!!) They loved prancing around in their hats, wacky socks, favorite sports team shirts, and with their costumes on.
You have got to see how cute they were! Oh my, they were BEYOND excited!!
Our Superheroes kept us safe all day. 😉
Trying to keep some semblance of learning and school during “costume day” was made a snap by having our Owl Pellet dissection in the afternoon. The kids were so excited for the dissection that they were on their best behavior all day long. (Another reason why I love science experiments!!!)
All week we had been working so hard to learn all we could about owls. We practiced using vocabulary, read books, wrote sentences, and had a blast using big science words like “oviparous,” “food chain,” and “pupils.”
In a few of my guided reading groups, my students worked together to draw out food chains from a forest. They read a few books about forest life and owls and loved creating these! (This was also a great review of graphic features!)
By Wednesday, they were beyond excited to dissect owl pellets and figure out what “prey” they would find!
To start the dissection, we explored the outside of our pellets looking for clues to help us determine what our barn owl may have eaten.
We came up with some great predictions throughout this first part of the experiment and really enjoyed thinking about where the owl pellet might have been and what the owl might have eaten.
After exploring the outside of the pellets, we started to take them apart. My students were given bone charts, magnifying glasses, a black work mat, cups to put their bones in, a pick and tweezers. We used our tools carefully.
They loved looking closely at the bones and matching them to the bone charts.
(I have done this experiment at least 5 times and I have never seen a bone this big!! It was 1.5 inches long!)
People ask me if it is worth doing this dissection in first grade and hands down I will tell you YES! It is so worth it. My students simply adore using their Science tools and get so much out of it.
They learn all about predation, habitats, and food chains through it. Not to mention it helps them think like a scientist! We use critical thinking skills throughout the whole process and it keeps them SO engaged!
After our dissection, we sit in a circle and discuss what we learned, what we saw and what we noticed. My students came up with so many great observations!
I order my owl pellets from http://www.obdk.com. They are so amazing to work with. They send you everything you need plus have amazing resources on their website. I highly recommend them!
In my Owl Pack I also have a ton of resources for you to use with your dissection including first grade focused lab recording pages, permission slips, and activities. Using these centers and activities really helped my students build their schema (and excitement for the dissection!)
If you are studying owls, I highly recommend doing an owl pellet dissection– your students will LOVE it!
Next week we will be studying PUMPKINS!