Sparking Student Motivation: Owl Pellets!

Getting students’ hands dirty and really INTO science is the BEST way to motivate kids to learn! So I’m linking today’s post with my BBB Joanne for Sparking Student Motivation!

We ordered owl pellets again this year- the kids just love it, once they learn it’s not POOP! And honestly, it’s kind of funny when you think about how awesome the kids still think it is to find bones of dead rodents in a “hairball” …because it’s still pretty gross. 😛

We spent an entire week learning about owls through nonfiction texts and websites while using my OWLS Common Core Nonfiction Unit!

If you are planning on dissecting owl pellets, make sure you visit the website, KidWings! It’s very informative, and really cool the way the kids can interact with it!

Before dissecting the pellets, the kids had to learn about important vocabulary, how owls are different from other birds, and also how owls hunt, eat, and digest! We read Owls by Gail Gibbons as well as this very informative website for this info!

Then finally, the moment they’d been waiting for all week… getting to “dig in” to their owl pellet! I learned a funny prank from Joanne, and I did it this year… I smooshed up a brownie and wrapped it in foil. Before giving my kids their pellet, I told them I wanted to demonstrate how to dissect one first. (Are you seeing where this is going??) I unwrapped it, sniffed it (all the kids made a face), then took a bite, shrugged and said, “not bad actually.” The room was SO quiet. No one could even speak. I don’t think any of them could actually believe I’d just done what I did. I couldn’t even contain my laughter for three seconds! The minute I started laughing, you heard a big “whoosh” as they all sighed with relief, knowing it couldn’t be real. I told them of course, that it was a brownie, and NOT TO EAT THEIR PELLET!! 😛
Here are some of the treasures my students found:
I would highly recommend doing as much hands-on as you can with science, even if it means getting your (and their) hands dirty! Your kids will always remember it, and of course, we know that’s the best way to learn! :o)