Saturday, April 7, 2012

Science Saturday ~ Owl Pellets...Anyone?




Have you ever seen an owl pellet?  Held one?  How about dissected one?

Well, on this edition of Science Saturday, that's what we're talking about!!!

A few weeks ago, my 7th graders were introduced to awesome owl pellets during Science ELT.  This is our Extended Learning Time you've heard me mention before.  I only have around 15 students from my team of 110 during ELT, so when we do cool things like this, those 15 tell the rest of the team about it...then they all BEG to have Science ELT next.  I love that!!!

Their initial thought when I unveiled the bag of foil balls was that I was about to give them owl poop.  While it was tempting to let them be completely grossed out for a while longer, I gave in and told them what owl pellets really are...owl puke!

Owls can't digest bones and claws, so all that gets compacted into a small oval pellet and is later regurgitated.

When that was clear with all my students, their next thought focused on, "Mrs. Lundy, you mean to tell me somebody goes around behind owls waiting for them to puke so they can pick it up...and then wrap the puke in tin foil?"

{BTW...tin foil is aluminum foil to in the South.}

My answer to them was, "Well, yeah...I guess they do."

With that, we were on to the fun!!

Each student got their own shinny, foil-wrapped pellet, some paper towels, and a pair of rubber gloves.




When they began to unwrap the pellets, I thought I might lose a couple of students, but they hung in there!

Here's what they begin to find:







Now for some close-ups!!  I went without a flash so the details would show up better.










This was all from one pellet and as you can see, there were at least 3 mouse skulls inside.  There were several broken pieces so I'm leaning toward 4 mice!

For follow-up assignments, I had students draw some of the bones they found.  Then they had to write about what they thought the bones actually were and why.

For an even more in-depth task, you can have your students try to arrange the bones in what they think the actual skeleton would look like!

I LOVE doing this with my students!  I'm a bit of a germ-a-phob, but I enjoy digging right in on this one!!

I hope you've enjoyed this post.



Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},










9 comments:

  1. We used the Carolina iPad app. to look at the most common skeletons found in the pellets. When you are done you can click on the Interactive Database and students can enter how many of each bones they found, # scapulas, skulls, femurs etc. Their numbers are then entered into national regions. My students were then able to view averages from across the country. It is a free app, I think it is simply called "Owl Pellets." I hope you enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU for sharing! I will definitely add this to the task next time. I just downloaded it on my iPad.

      I so appreciate you stopping by and being willing to share such a great find!!!

      I'm going to mention this in a post later today as coming from a follower! :)

      Have a great one!
      ~Michelle

      Delete
  2. ooooh - I've ALWAYS wanted to dissect owl pellets!!
    ♥ Jen
    The Teacher's Cauldron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is SOOO much fun, Jen! You should give it a shot.

      ~Michelle

      Delete
  3. Your experiment in lab explanation very helped him i easily understand all mater thanks for share it writing advice .

    ReplyDelete
  4. Extended Learning Time and the various activities made in this regard have produced something better for the students that they would be able to put up more results in this regard. mba statement of purpose sample

    ReplyDelete
  5. The indebted person is the borrower. He should affirm to, and meet all the advance conditions set around the loan boss. Indebted individuals incorporate people and organizations who need to buy property. Bringing home credits is a convoluted business and there are different members that are included all the while. Auto Title Loans Chicago

    ReplyDelete
  6. Owning a house is a major responsibility. It brings up your Saturdays with drain cleaning, yard cutting, weight washing and window cleaning. It is likewise justified, despite all the trouble in light of the fact that by the day's end, it's yours. Payday Loans Chicago

    ReplyDelete
  7. You should at present fit the bill for the advance based upon the loaning ensure rules set by the VA. This safeguards they are just sponsorship qualified borrowers and decreases their danger of misfortune. usacheckcashingstore.com/san-diego

    ReplyDelete