Grade: Grade 6
Topic: Dissection of owl pellets
Content: Owl pellets- dissection Food chains Predator- prey
Students will be able to examine owl pellets and what their diet consisted of, specifically rodents. They will further their understanding of simple food chains as well as bone structure and identification.
Given an owl pellet and observation sheet, the students will remove the bones and remains, then reconstruct a skeletal system and identify possible prey of the owl.
Owl pellets, dissecting tools, measuring tape, plastic containers, paper towels, Pellet Observation Sheet, Bone Identification Key, Skeleton Diagram, construction paper, glue, magnifying glass, envelopes.
True and False questions of the Barn Owl, its eating habits, prey, and pellets. Discussions leading from the questions. Use a KWL chart to record what the students already know about the barn owl.
Handout owl pellets, measuring tape, and magnifying glass to groups of 2 students. Using chart paper, record students’ observations of the pellets in regard to color, size, shape, and texture.
Discuss the best tools to use when dissecting the owl pellets- record on chart paper. Discuss what the activity of dissecting owl pellets entails. Students collect materials needed.
Group students who are experiencing difficulty with students who can assist them. Teacher will also be assisting throughout the activity.
Checking For Understanding:
Completion of owl pellet dissection and identification of various bones found. Group participation and cooperation Oral questions before and after activity
Discuss students’ observations and thoughts. Discuss next lesson where the students will reconstruct a skeleton from the owl pellet and draw a picture of a simple food chain that includes the owl, its prey, and other animal or plant life that may be in the chain.
Completion of dissection Reconstruction of skeleton Owl food chain Group cooperation, contribution, and participation.
Did this lesson motivate the students? Did they enjoy the discovery of the owl’s eating habits? What follow up can the teacher use to continue motivate the students to new discoveries about nature?