Wednesday 22 January 2014

Looking Closely at an Owl Pellet

Lately Wednesdays have become our day to explore a little deeper and today was no exception.  Way back on Halloween Ms. Lirenman was given an owl pellet for us to explore.  So many things happened since then and today we finally found the time to dive into the owl pellet.

We started our day with Ms. Lirenman showing us the owl pellet. We used the table magnifier to check it out.  A big thank you to My Classroom Needs for donating the $$ to pay for these.

Many of us had curiosity questions so Ms. Lirenman introduced us to the website Today's Meet where we could share some of our wonders and ask questions.  Some of us worked together and others worked on our own.  

Here is some of what we wrote.

Then Ms. Lirenman put the owl pellet under the document camera, zoomed in real big and slowly started to pull the owl pellet apart.  We were amazed by what we saw.  She then divided all that was found into eight stations and we rotate through each station with a couple of friends. We had our own individual magnifying classes so we could look a little closer.  Another huge thank you to My Class Needs for donating the money to purchase these too.  We also brought our iPads around with us so we could capture some documentation.  Here are some photos of that.

Here are some of the things we saw up close.

One student suggested that maybe we could find a skeleton of a mouse and project it on the screen so we could compare what we were seeing with where it might be found on the skeleton.  Ms. Lirenman loved the idea and quickly found us this skeleton.  It was exciting to recognize bones right in front of us to bones on the skeleton picture.

When it was time to head outside Ms. Lirenman collected all the samples and put them in our special magnifying containers which we also received from My Class needs.  Now we can revisit the owl pellet over and over again for a while.

After lunch we continued with our Owl Pellet day by taking our images and labelling them using the iPad app Skitch, and then creating a collage using the PicCollage app  Here are a few photos of us doing just that.

These images below are some screen shots from our student blogs but you really should go check out our individual blog posts.

At the end of the day we returned to the Today's Meet  and added comments about what we learned or saw in the owl pellet.  Here are some of those comments.

As you can see it was an extremely successful day of looking closely and exploring owl pellets.  We can't wait to see what we get up to next Wednesday.


  1. We like how you are used your ipads wisely as a tool for your learning. We learned a lot about owl pellets from your post. Thanks for sharing that information. Did you have to use special tools to separate the pellet? Do you have a list of favorite apps you could share with us? We are getting our ipads this week!

    1. Yes, our teacher Ms. Lirenman used special gloves to separate the owl pellet. We never touched the pellet with our fingers we just looked with our eyes and our tools. Here are some of our favourite iPad apps: Amaan likes Skitch because you can label it. Grayson likes Draw and Tell because you can transfer it onto your blog. Jaslehna likes iMovie because you can real cool movies with it. Jadyn likes Kodable because she likes to make the poofy balls move. Karman likes kidblog because you can add your photos or you can add a movie and you can write the tittle of what you're writing about. You can write as much as you want.

  2. Hi Ms. Lirenman's Class!
    We truly enjoyed reading this blog post about the owl pellets. We all think this looks like great fun, and we got some terrific ideas from you!

    We are learning about nonfiction text features right now, and Skitch looks like the perfect app to use to show our thinking and to label parts of things.

    One of our students thinks it's really neat you got all that science equipment from donations. Way to go!
    We used our background knowledge about owls to figure out what the owls might have eaten, and then we looked at your findings and discovered we were right--they do eat mice!

    Another student in our class wants to know if anyone was "grossed out" by dissecting owl pellets. At first, many of us though it sounded gross, but after reading your post, we think it's pretty cool.

    We really like your blog and want to leave you a voicemail this week! We might have to add that feature to our blog--great idea! We looked at your blog at the very end of the day on Friday, so sorry our comment is coming in a little late. Our teacher jotted down notes for our comment and is writing on behalf of the class.

    Have a great week!

    Mrs. Sorenson's 1st Grade
    Colchester, VT

    1. We are learning about non fiction text too! Most of us thought the owl pellets were kinda of gross at first. Some of us even thought it looked like pooh. But when we saw what was inside of them we thought it was really cool.

  3. Hello First Graders in Canada!
    We loved all of the interesting information about owl pellets. We wish we could do that too.We have a big question for you. Is an owl pellet poop or throw-up? We love to use Today's Meet with our iPads too. We are excited to start reading your kidblogs! Have a great day!
    Mrs. Schneider's First Grade Class in Colorado the home of the Denver Broncos!

  4. An owl pellet is more like throw up than poop but it isn't really throw up, it's just the foot that the owl can't eat. It does kind of look like poop though but it wasn't smelly.

    We see that you live in the home of the Denver Broncos. Although we live in Canada, we live really close to Seattle, so we are cheering for the Seattle Seahawks! Go Hawks Go!


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