Calling All Owls – Background

Many of us have stories of owls flying across the road in front of our cars, calling eerily outside our windows, or quietly staring at us from a tree on a misty gray day. We recall these encounters vividly, for owls are such fascinating and mysterious creatures. As nighttime hunters, owls have incredibly specialized eyes, ears, feathers, feet, and digestion, all of which contribute to their superior predatory ability. Their calls are unique too, and, though strange and foreign to our ears, they are an important adaptation for owls to communicate with each other. Continue reading Calling All Owls – Background

Calling All Owls – Activities

FOCUS: Owls are birds of prey with many special adaptations related to their lives as nighttime hunters. With soft wings, huge eyes, and superb hearing, they can detect the slightest sound or movement and swoop down silently on their unsuspecting prey. Owl pellets tell us about their food preferences, and their calls, an adaptation for communicating with others of their kind, tell us which owls are living in our area.

Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about owls.

Turn off the classroom lights, and play a Barred Owl call. Ask children what they think about when they hear the sound. Then show a photo of a Barred Owl, and ask children to draw it.

Materials: audio recording of Barred Owl call, photo of Barred Owl, paper or journals, and pencils.

Objective: To investigate and model differences between owls’ eyes and our own.

Show the children pictures of owls, paying special attention to the eyes. Are they on either side of the head or in the front? (In front, facing forward.) Continue reading Calling All Owls – Activities

Calling All Owls – Puppet Show

The Bedtime Story


Characters: Father mouse, young mouse, Great Horned Owl

Mouse  Daddy, will you tell me a bedtime story?

Father Mouse  Okay, how about a story about an owl?

Mouse  Oooh, a scary story. I like scary stories.

Father Mouse  Once upon a time there was a little mouse, and in the woods nearby there lived a great horned owl. The owl slept all day long, but as soon as it got dark out, it would wake up and sing out into the darkness…(Father exits, owl enters) Continue reading Calling All Owls – Puppet Show

Calling All Owls – Standards


The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Calling All Owls – Standards