Book Resources

Overboard for Owls Book List

  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

The following books can be used as a read-aloud or as research references. They can be used for preparation of the topic, as well as in conjunction of the owl unit. The visual aids are excellent for introduction and identification of owl adaptations.


Owl Puke by Jane Hammerslough
The book covers a range of information about owls. It is presented in a kid-friendly format, with vivid illustrations and charts.

Classroom Tips: Copy the pages for use as a reference when writing the owl report. This is an outstanding book to use as an introduction to owl pellets. Copy the bone sorting chart for students to have as a reference when dissecting owl pellets. It includes great owl activities, such as making an edible owl pellet.

Animal Kingdom by Eyes on Nature Series
Beautiful illustrations and large printed information makes this book a great animal resource. Mammals, insects, reptiles, and birds of prey are divided into sections with interesting facts about the animals in each kingdom.

Classroom Tips: Use the book when introducing adaptations to the students. The large photos allow students a close up look of adaptations. A Venn Diagram may be used to compare the adaptations of owl to other birds of prey.

Scoop into the Nocturnal World of Owls by Zoobooks
Reading material is presented in a magazine format. Information about owls, such as diet, habitat, and hunting are organized for students.

Classroom Tips: Copy the different sections of the book for students to use when researching owls. Students may also go online to The Owl Pages to research more information about their specific owl topic.

Raptor! A kid's guide to birds of prey by Christyna M. and Rene Laubach
The books highlights the main characteristics of different owl species. Pictures and maps illustrate the features and habitats of owls. Addresses of bird organizations and web sites are provided for further research.

Classroom Tips: Divide the students into pairs and provide a copy of the information for each owl. Students summarize main characteristics of each owl for a class chart showing comparisons of each owl species. Use chart as a math discussion for maximum, minimum, range when discussing statistics. Show a map of the United States and label the different parts of the country where different owl species live. Students could write letters to organizations asking for information on supporting the protections of the animals.

Skeletons: an Inside Look at Animals by Jinny Johnson
This book is a collection of giant-sized pictures of animal skeletons. It shows the similarities and differences between animal bones.

Classroom Tips: When introducing the various bones of the body, use the different skeleton drawings to show similarities between animals. Reinforce the identification of animal bones prior to dissecting an owl pellet.


The Moon of the Owls by Jean Craighead George
A 40-page story with black-and-white illustrations about a nocturnal journey of a great horned owl in New York.

Classroom Tips: Separate the story into a 3-day read aloud. Discuss word choice that provides vivid visualizations and have students illustrate a scene while reading aloud. Use a graphic organizer to show story sequence by charting the animals seen by the owl. Show a map of the United States and label the different parts of the country where different owl species live.

The Barn Owls by Tony Johnston and Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Simple stories about the lives of owls are written in a poetic and heart-warming style. The books focus on the hunting practices of owls.

Classroom Tips: Use as a read-aloud to show the hunting practice of owls. Highlight the various verbs written in the story, and use a precursor for a poetry writing exercise.

Birds: A First Look at Animals by Diane James & Sara Lynn
Amusing illustrations and simple text introduce students to characteristics of all birds, including owls.

Classroom Tips: The text is appropriate for below level readers. English Language Learners can use the large, easy to read print to study adaptations and owl characteristics.

Owl: American Indian Legends by Vee Browne
Three American Indian legends are told that explain the features and behaviors of owls. Information about owls are provided in between the retelling of the legends. Fantastic illustrations bring these captivating legends to life

Classroom Tips: Use as a precursor to writing an owl legend. After a discussion of culture diversity, conclude by creating a pottery owl, as shown in the book.

Owls by Gail Gibbons
An excellent read-aloud or research source, the large art illustrations and text allow students to easily follow along.

Animal Predators: Owls by Sandra Markle
The book has beautiful photographs with smaller text. Can also be used for research.

Classroom Tips: Use these books as research sources or introductions to owl adaptations. Use the glossary terms as vocabulary reinforcement with games such as memory.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
The award-winning story of a young girl who accompanies her father as he calls for owls and encounters one in the woods near their farm.

Classroom Tips: Use as a discussion of bird watching and journal keeping. Have students keep a journal of birds they see. Students can go call for owls with parents at home.

  • Subjects:
    Animal Classification, Content Area Reading, Compare and Contrast, Literature Appreciation, Research Skills, Animals, Science through Literature, Maps and Globes, Animal Structure and Movement, Animal Survival and Adaptation, Nocturnal Animals, Teacher Tips and Strategies
  • Skills:
    Compare and Contrast, Science, Research Skills