Owl Pellet Lesson Plan

Learner objectives: Student will be able to accurately construct and identify a skeleton from the bones dissected from an owl pellet and identify the animal. Materials: plastic container, owl pellet, tweezers, paper towels, sandwich bags, construction paper, glue, instruction sheets, rubric
Skills: Scientific method (taught earlier) Cooperative learning, investigation, six inch voices, on task, eye contact Evaluation: Owl pellet rubric completed by student and teacher.

Lesson Sequence:

  1. Discuss: What is an owl pellet?
  2. Distribute and discuss instruction sheets 
  3. Model the technique for dissecting a pellet. 
    • Discuss what they will be looking for. 
    • Emphasize that they need to work carefully. 
    • Encourage students to try matching the bones to the diagrams that have been distributed and write their hypothesis about what animal is in the pellet (on sheet provided) 
  4. Distribute and discuss rubric 
  5. Divide students into pairs and give job tasks 
  6. Materials person pick up materials 
  7. Students dissect owl pellets 
  8. Teacher observes and notes techniques and social skills
  9. Teacher models technique for preparing bones, pellet and debris for storage. Students store bones, pellet and debris for use in remainder of lesson 
  10. Encourage all students to wash hands carefully when finished.
  11. NOTE: This is a good stopping point if you need to split the activity into two sessions
  12. Teacher will give verbal instructions for and will model technique for gluing bones on construction paper and labeling the page.
  13. Inform students that they may negotiate with other groups if they find that they are missing any bones. As an alternative they may draw in the missing bones on the construction paper. Keep a record of the bones that were obtained from or given to other groups.
  14. Teacher will review rubric with students
  15. Remind students of the importance of neatness
  16. Materials person retrieves project container containing pellet and contents. also gets supplies
  17. Student will identify bones, negotiate with other students for missing bones, glue bones onto construction paper and label the bones
  18. Students will use rubric to self-check to see if they have completed all of the requirements students to Encourage students to wash hands carefully when finished.
  19. Brainstorm ways to analyze and catagorize what students find in the owl pellets

Unit designed by: Lisa Connell, Bev Johnson and Karren Wcisel - Spring, 1997

Karren's Curriculum Resources