Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FIAR: Owl Moon

I'm a little behind on sharing our Five in a Row activities, as we actually rowed Owl Moon a couple of weeks ago.  This was a FUN row, and probably one of Emory's favorites.

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Owl Moon

Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen, is quite a poetic tale of the excitement and anticipation of being allowed to do something for the first time--a rite of passage.  A little girl eagerly accompanies her father on a late night trip into the woods to go owling.  Her brothers have done it before, and it's finally her turn!  Can she be quiet the whole time?  Can she withstand the cold?  Will they find the owl?

Social Studies
We talked about the geographical setting of the story.  We used the guidance of the manual to choose a (random) location for this story disc.

Family Relationships; Maturity/Bravery; Special Moments; First Time Experiences; ETC.
We discussed most of this, but I asked the boys to think about the "first time" that they did something special/memorable with a family member.  One drew a picture of helping to drive a golf cart for the first time with my aunt and some cousins (in aunt's backyard), while other son drew a picture of fishing on a boat with his daddy and grandpa.

Language Arts
To go along with the row, we started reading Poppy by Avi.

There were several language topics to choose from, but this week we focused on Hyperbole and exaggeration to make a point, using the example from the book:

"For one minute, three minutes, maybe even a hundred minutes, we stared at each other."  

This tied into the math lesson as well . . .

Units of Time; When Time is Altered
Elliott immediately wanted to know how long a hundred minutes was, so I told him to calculate it on his own.  He did it quickly, and I had him write it out for his FIAR journal.

Then I asked the boys to hold their arm up for what they thought was one minute while I would time it.

Emory said "I'm done!" after 37 seconds.  Elliott made it 54 seconds.

Did they really think the girl stood still and silent in the cold for 100 minutes?

Telling Time
I just happened to find these Owl Time Cards.  It was easy for Elliott, but a good review for Emory.

Winter Trees
I tried combining the Trees and Shadows lesson with this Winter Wonderland.  The kids enjoyed it, but we'll continue to work on noticing details.  I gave the option to use an old toothbrush to splatter white paint for snow, or to use q-tips.  I personally liked the effect of the toothbrush splatter.

Obviously we focused on owls for this row.  There are so many concepts that are easily covered when learning about owls--nocturnal animals, food chains, birds/raptors!

We read about owls, looked up pictures, and listened to calls on All About Birds.  This is one of favorite go-to references for birds!  Then we filled out a simple Owls Are/Have/Can fact sheet together, which is a little different from our standard animal worksheet we do.

We watched a couple videos about owls.  One was just a short segment from The Fascinating World of Birds and the other was a nature documentary called Owl Power (also on Netflix at the time of posting) which was longer, but very interesting and informative.  Movies are great for auditory learners, and this was a fascinating addition.

Parts of an Owl - simple, but good for early elementary.

We also did this Owl Pellet Sequencing one afternoon.  "Owls have two stomachs!?"

Then we dissected an owl pellet with Daddy's help when we were all snowed in over the weekend.  Elliott said it was disgusting and wanted no part of it.  Emory, on the other hand, is my outdoors/nature loving kid, so of course he loved this activity.

We think we ended up having a few different animals, because some bones looked like mole, but we were also pretty sure we found the claws of a shrew. {Here is a virtual owl pellet dissection, if you don't want to dissect a real one.}

Overall, it was a really fun row!  Eleanor did an O is for Owl theme that week, so I'll be sharing that soon.  We followed up Owl Moon with Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (and The Snowy Day for Eleanor) since we were hit by the big snowstorm at the end of this row.  I'll be sharing those soon enough!

I'm sharing Owl Pellets for Owl Moon for "O" week, but be sure to check out what other bloggers are sharing this week.
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  1. How fun! I love the dissecting an owl pellet. My son would love that!

    1. He probably would! Even I thought it was fun!

  2. My boys would love the Owl pellet, too - and the videos. I saw a photo of some owelets that live at Grand Teton Nation Park online today - so adorable!!

    1. Now you've made me realize I should have looked for Owl Cams!