Whooo's That?


Every year, I have a class theme.  Since this is our first year in our brand new GREEN school, I decided to go with something along those lines...so I came up with owls..you remember, "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute!" ??  And with owls really making a come-back, there's a TON of cute owl stuff out there!

So, our classroom is centered around owls this year.  Our interactive binder is O.W.L.S {Organized With Learning Success}, we have an OWL of the week, etc. etc.  I have always wanted to do owl pellets in my classroom, but never got up the nerve.  So, with our theme for the year, I decided that this was the year that I was going to do it!  

Do you know much about owl pellets?  Most people think it is owl poop...NOPE!  It's not!  

~HERE'S A QUICK SCIENCE LESSON~
Owl pellets are so informative for several reasons. Firstly owls have weak bills and often prey that isn’t too large is swallowed whole which leaves the skeleton of the prey, including the skull, intact. Unlike most other birds, owls have no crop, and the food passes straight into the foregut (they do not posses a true stomach). The acid in the owl’s gut is rather weak with a pH of 2.2 - 2.5 which is the same as vinegar. This means that owls can only digest the soft tissues. The bones, fur and feathers remain virtually intact. The opening from the foregut into the rest of the digestive tract is small and prevents any undigested material from passing through. Instead, it remains behind where it is compacted into an oval pellet and is then actively regurgitated back up through the oesophagus. Pellets, therefore, contain bones including intact skulls, fur, feathers, the chitinous exoskeletons of insects and even the chaetae (bristles) from earthworms and so discovering what owls have been eating is quite straightforward.


So, I ordered our owl pellets, and they arrived promptly.  One student's mom is a nurse, so she furnished gloves for us, and one student brought toothpicks.  We were good to go...I think...lol
Yeah, we were!


Each student received a copy of the bone chart.  We discussed the different animals bones that we might find.  So, came the day to start the dissecting.  OMG!  Everyone had a blast!


I do have to say, I thought I might gag once I touched them {with gloves, of course} but I didn't!  


We all got so swept up in the activity at hand, that we no longer thought of it being "owl regurgitation". lol

I'm glad that I finally did this activity!  I will do this again!

Chatterbox Blessings,

3 comments

  1. You ARE brave!!!! That's awesome!!!!!! How fun! I bet your kids will remember it FOREVER! :)
    And it goes without saying, I LOVE owls!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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  2. Very cool. Owl pellets are so much fun!

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  3. I've always wanted to do this, but it isn't in our grade level curriculum. I've got to find a way around that!
    2B Honey Bunch

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