Lesson Plan #:AELP-ANM004
AUTHOR: Jeanette Vratil, Lowell Elementary, KS Date: May 1994
Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
OVERVIEW: Owl pellets can be used to teach a part of the natural food chain. They can also be used to teach skeletal structure of rodents. Owl pellets are compact undigested parts which the owl eats. The owl regurgitates these compact pellets which contain fur, bones, etc. of small rodents. Dry pellets will not smell or be unpleasant for students to handle.
OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to:
paper plate-1 per student, sharp dissecting tweezers-1 per student, owl pellets-can be shared within a group, copy of rodent skeletal system-1 per student, copy of human skeletal system-1 per student, pencil and paper to record results.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
Encourage exploration and discussion of group members. A chart can be made on the board to show the number of skulls, etc. found in a pellet by each group. Extension could be to assemble a completed rodent skeleton. Care should be taken with elementary students regarding use expectations of sharp pointed equipment. Some students may hesitate to touch the pellet. Explain they are dry, very hard, and feel kind of like a piece of dried mud and grass. Encourage all students to wash hands carefully when completed.
These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.