OWL Activities and Art

Who doesn’t love OWLS? We were reading about little desert owls that live inside of a giant Saguaro cactus in our Reading Streets literature story A Walk in the Desert. I thought we could do some little owl reports as our first study in our animal matrix; birds, mammals, reptiles, ocean animals, insects, and amphibians. We will cover all of these by year’s end.

First we did a KWL CHART about the things we already KNOW about owls, the things we WANT TO KNOW about owls. And we are adding things we LEARN little by little. This is a great strategy to develop background knowledge.

I think the important part is the THINGS WE LEARNED section. So I usually put that down in a separate place on a poster shaped like the topic and add to it all unit long. The kids help me!
Here are some of the books and resources I used for this owl unit of study. The kids loved hearing about Owlbert, and Gayle Gibbons book about Owls.
Owls by Gail Gibbons is a great book to start your unit with. It’s only $3.99 at Amazon. 

Owlbert by Nicholas Harris
Owls by Gayle Gibbons
Desert Giant (Saguaro Cactus) by Barbara Bash (This is a good Reading Rainbow video now too)
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton

The Barn Owl (Animal Lives) by Sally Tagholm and Bert Kitchen

The Barn Owls
The Barn Owlis only $3.95 at Amazon. It is a totally cute book. 

ARKive – Little owl video – Athene noctua – 00 Really cute Video and some still pictures
 of owls in their habitat. And we read a Weekly Reader on Owls.

I also checked 2 desert animals and owl books out of our school library. After I read the books I put them all at a center with pictures from calendars of birds, stuffed and plastic bird models and anything I pick up that kids would be interested in and put it at the science center.
Owl Reports and Owl Art from Scrapbook papers. 
After reading all about owls during  read aloud, the kids helped me make a giant owl poster with all of the facts they thought were interesting. Then they decorated the cover of their owl research reports (informational text) which is what we will call them. The kids call them Owl Facts, but I had them each give their work a title. We are talking about MAIN IDEA and I find that if I make them think up a title to their work, they start to understand what a main idea is (what the main thing you are writing about, NOT the details).
Cute Quotation from THE BARN OWLS book. 
Here is the Owl Printable that we used for our book cover with the title. Then we READ a shared reading of a Scholastic News I have about OWLS. After that, and the books, and a poster I made, and the Scholastic News reading, we started writing our “SLOPPY COPIES”. I told them to try and use 3 resources to put their non-fiction facts report together. More fun downloadables can be found at Wise Owl Factory.


Fun Owl cookies from graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy corn and vanilla wafers! OWL S’MORES! So cute! 
Then I edited them one by one while they were doing their art and writing. It does get a little crazy if I have more than 3 in a line, so I usually tell the 4th and 5th kids to go finish their art and then bring me their writing. So there isn’t a waste of time.
 I used the owl printable below as a cover for our Owl Fact books. Each child colored theirs and we typed out their titles and we added them to the covers.

Owl Coloring Page 5
Color Me Good  has this great downloadable coloring page.

This was another cute one from Pinterest 

 Then we rewrite the reports after I red-pen edit them. This is very important. I found 6 kids using “there” instead of “their” and so I have my next mini lesson. I also saw very little capitalization at sentence beginning.

Owl Puppet Printable Free Here. I like to glue a poem on the back of all of our puppets we make…. Here is a cute one.
A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

So you know it helps me give kids one on one spelling and grammar help too. (Remember friend is fri like Friday and then end like the end of the story). Nothing I do as a teacher is more important than my individual conferences with kids.

Lovely Owl Goes Viral (VIDEO)  This is a great video to show the kids too. It is only 2 minutes.
Then after the 2nd writing is done on pretty stationery (an important motivational step) I usually hook final draft writing to a fun art or craft project. These students are gifted so they are motivated toward task completion. And I can compact my curriculum to include more art because of it. So we do 3 completed writing projects a week and several arts or an art and a craft.
Lucy Learns has this cute wordsearch to download.

Owl Art project using scrapbook and construction paper. 
Here is our Owl art. I used cut out “feathers” from scrapbook paper, fabric, peel and stick corderoy, construction paper etc. The kids dotted some of the white and gray feathers with black markers. We used white round stickers for eyes and colored them with yellow markers and added wiggly eyes and a twig for their talons to sit on. The kids designed their own talons and beaks. It was fun to do and pretty easy. They glued finished owls onto blue paper.
Owl Art Project and Writing 
Owl Brainstorm Graphic Organizer. I do this a lot for whole class writing; make the shape of the thing you are writing about and write the facts kids come up with on it in different colors. 
My inspiration was from That Artist Woman where I get a lot of my art inspiration. She has a great tutorial that I used a portion of.  My kids just taped on the twigs. And we used “masks” (banana shapes) for eyes instead of the 3D egg cartons.  I used cardstock for the owl body so the paper feathers could be attached and not wrinkle up with glue. A few other worksheets on owls are here at Boggles World.
The owls turned out cool looking, didn’t they?