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Lesson Plan #: AELP-ANM0090
Submitted by: Ryan Weglage/Jess Evans
Email: rywegs@selway.umt.edu
School/University/Affiliation: University of Montana
Endorsed by: Dr. Lisa Blank
             University of Montana, Missoula, Mt Date: May 3, 1999

Grade Level(s): 1, 2


  • Science/Animals

Duration: one 45 minute session Description: Dissection of owl pellets. To find out prey species and eating habits.

Goals: Students will engage in scientific inquiry related to life science: characteristics of organisms; organisms and their environment

Objectives: Students will be able to:
1) define owl pellets as regurgitated masses of bones, teeth, feathers, and insect skeletons.
2) determine the prey species found inside the pellet by using a bone sorting chart.


  • owl pellets
  • dissecting tools (toothpicks)
  • bone sorting chart

Procedure: Begin discussion of different species eaten by owls.
Show an owl pellet to the class and ask what it is.
Describe regurgitation and why owls do it.
Once understanding is solidified, give directions as to what will happen.
Pass out owl pellets to students and allow them to dissect the pellets.
Once all the hair, and bones have been separated, have the students identify the animals that the bones belong to using the bone sorting chart.
Once identification is complete, have students conclude about the types of prey and the number of prey eaten.
(some pellets have more than one skeleton.)



3-student accomplishes the purpose of the question, task, or unit. Communication is clear.
2-partially accomplishes the purpose. Communication is clear.
1-shows fragmented understanding. Communication is vague.