The following is a post by Amy Milcic of Busy Boys Brigade.
Owls are a favorite topic in our family. From cute cartoon drawings to the study of the actual bird, owls are a source of delight and intrigue. My boys and I love to find resources about owls to add to our homeschool library.
We were fortunate to receive Owl Moon by Jane Yolen from my mom, a retired elementary teacher. A winner of the Caldecott Medal, Owl Moon is filled with intricate sketches enhanced by descriptive imagery. Owl Moon captures the experience of a young girl as she goes “owling” with her father for the first time.
I chose this book as part of our winter family read aloud time. Children of all ages can enjoy this story of a girl and this special event in her life. All of my boys, ages 1-13, eagerly listened to hear if the young girl and her dad found an owl. My older boys enjoyed retelling the book’s sequence of events and sharing their thoughts on what happened later.
My older boys also used notebooking and conducted online research to learn more about owls. As part of their science lesson, they dissected owl pellets. They were fascinated to discover and sort bones, fur, and twigs. This dissection activity led to discussion on owl habitats and behaviors.
To extend learning fun with Owl Moon,consider these online resources:
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen–Scholastic (includes links to free writing prompts, extension activities, discussion guide, and teaching plan)
- JaneYolen.com (background about author and book)
- Bright Hub Education (owl facts, comprehension questions, game, and art prompts)
- Sheppard Softward (owl facts and quiz)
As a fun activity for all of my boys, we used playdough to create their own owls. They found pictures of different types of owls and selected one to try to recreate with our DIY playdough.
For art, they used a pencil and white paper. Without lifting the pencil, they were instructed to draw a tree with owl somewhere in their scene. This art task was challenging but a fun way to create their own winter scenes.
They had a blast with an Owl Calling Contest. My boys do not typically need a reason to cause a lot of noise. They enjoyed practicing Whooo-hooo and competing for the title, “Best Owl Caller.”
My younger boys used this Owl Moon Printable Pack to continue their learning fun. This pack includes:
- 1 sets of 12 memory cards with labels (print out 2 sets and glue onto cardstock for use)
- Owl Moon word scramble
- mini-coloring book
- lyrics to “5 Little Owls” plus owl song props
- 2 coloring pages
This printable pack is designed for preschool through elementary level.
I pray that these activities and printable pack on Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon bless your family with fun learning.
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