Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Owl Pellets-Gross or Cool?

Want to motivate your students with something REALLY fun??

With only five days left of school, I have to try to keep the attention and interest of my students! At the end of the school year we study food chains in science and I read Poppy (a fantasy book starring a bully owl), so owl pellets are the perfect integration!
This book is awesome! Such interesting facts about owl puke!

Kidwings is a fascinating virtual owl pellet dissection. Students remove the fur and then match up the bones from the pellet. This is the perfect introduction before dissecting.

 They come packaged like this:

I lay newspaper down and give them tools (toothpicks and paperclips) to dissect their owl pellet.
At first, many of my students are pretty grossed out, but it doesn't take long for them to really get into it!
As soon as one student finds a skull, then everyone gets excited! They all want to walk around and show everyone!
Scientists hard at work!
Some pellets contain 2 skulls, where some pellets have none. I let my students trade and share to make a complete skeleton of their own.

As they find bones, they use their bone identification chart to categorize their findings.
I'm not sure that everyone likes our hallway display (LOL), but the kids who walk by think it's pretty cool!
Here are some close up pictures: Some pellets contain more bones than others, so not all sheets have the same bones.

 This is a fascinating experience for students and if you have the chance, you should try it!
Answer to the post question gross or cool???
So cool in fact, I put the two extra pellets in my prize box!!!
**I definitely recommend purchasing the larger pellets, it's worth the extra money.
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.


  1. Soooooo WAY COOL! I would love to do this with my kids; however, the fourth grade teacher does this with the kiddos :( She's retiring (I willmiss her dearly) so maybe I can steal her owl pellets :)

    Thanks for hosting this fun linky each week!

  2. Ha!! Great minds!!! Love your displays! :-P xoxo

  3. I love owl pellets - I love even more that we do it while on a field trip to our local conservation area!!
    Your displays are awesome. It does seem like you have had to back to back posts about poop though- is this a trend??!! Have a great weekend!

  4. Just adore the bathroom post from last week, and now owl pellets!! What fun! Not to mention, those little foil wrapped goodies look just like baked potatoes! Thanks for sharing all of the fun and learning!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  5. I just ordered my first owl dissection kit!! I love this idea.

    Do you have the worksheets that you used or is there a place I can get them online?

    Thanks for your great ideas!!

    Tracey V.

  6. We just finished reading "Poppy" and are going to do our pellets on Tuesday. It's something I do every year and they love it! Hadn't seen that book before so I have to find it for my owl collection! Loved your post!

  7. This brings back so many memories. As a student was so fun and interesting to do this as in school and to see you continue to pay it forward is pretty awesome. I'm going make it a point to do this with my students next year.

    Thanks Joanne


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