Students will become researchers and scientists as they learn about animal adaptations with owls.
- Research owls
- Evaluate the adaptations of owls by sharing collected research
- Create a written report
- Books about owls
- Articles about owls
- Writing paper
- Owl Research Graphic Organizer printable
- Student Self-Assessment printable
- Owl Stationery printable
- Optional: Owl Template printable
- Gather articles about owls at various reading levels from books, magazines, or the Internet. Make copies for students to use during class.
- Make class sets of the Owl Research Graphic Organizer, Student Self-Assessment, and Owl Stationery printables. Note: You may want to make extra copies of the Owl Stationery printable, since these will be used for students' final drafts.
- Optional: If you are planning to have students complete the Art Project extension activity, print the Owl Template printable and cut out the owl shape for students to use.
Step 1: Divide students into groups of 2 or 3 students.
Step 2: Assign each group a different characteristic or trait of owls to research.
Step 3: Allow students time to research their characteristics using the print materials provided. Students should take notes to share with the rest of the class.
Step 4: Gather students back together as a class and hand out the Owl Research Graphic Organizer printable.
Step 5: Call on each group to share the information they found about their characteristic. As each group presents, everyone else should record the information in the appropriate section of the Owl Research Graphic Organizer printable.
Step 6: Once all groups have shared their research, distribute the Student Self-Assessment printable. Ask students to complete the assessments individually. When they are done, collect the assessments and the Owl Research Graphic Organizers. Students will need the organizers for Day 2.
Step 7: Review students' answers to the "I would still like to know" section of the Student Self-Assessment.
Step 8: If there was a lot of overlap in things students still want to know about owls, take time at the beginning of class to address these items. If not, provide time for students to conduct additional research using the print materials provided.
Step 9: Explain to students that they will now write a paper about owls. They should complete this assignment independently using the notes they took on their Owl Research Graphic Organizer printable. You should clearly define your expectations for student writing.
Step 10: Hand back students' Owl Research Graphic Organizers along with a sheet of writing paper. You may want to move around the classroom and check in with students as they are writing.
Note: If students do not finish a rough draft of their papers during class, ask them to finish writing for homework.
Step 11: Distribute the Owl Stationery printable and hand back students' rough drafts if you collected them the day before. Have students write a clean copy of their paper on the stationery.
Step 12: Display students' writing in the classroom.
Supporting All Learners
- Support all students by providing reading material for students with limited reading skills and students with advanced reading skills.
- If necessary, have students make vocabulary cards with a word on one side of the index card and an illustration and definition on the other side.
- Working with partners helps build vocabulary for students who are not familiar with labels of animal body parts.
Students can create an owl themed poem: acrostic, diamante, haiku, etc.
An art project related to owls can be completed. Students use yellow and orange tissue paper as a background. A piece of black construction paper is used for the Owl Template printable and to create a branch.
Lead a discussion of proverbs. Create a bulletin board of wise sayings. Have students interpret proverbs and write their meaning on the owl template.
Math and Cooking
Integrate measurements of ingredients by making owl cookies. Have students combine ingredients of a sugar cookie recipe and decorate cookies. (Cookie cutters can be purchased online. I purchased mine from Kritters in the Mailbox.)
Ask students to research an animal of their choice. Have students create a diorama of the animal and its environment. Students can present the diorama in class and describe the adaptations that allow the animal to survive in its environment.
- Each student completes his/her section of the research
- Each student shares information with the class
- Each student completes a writing assignment about owls
- Were students on task during the research activity?
- Were the groups divided up appropriately?
- Were there enough resources provided for students to research owls?
- Was the material too difficult/easy for students to read?
- Did students present appropriate information related to their category?
- Students will complete a self-assessment regarding their role in collecting and presenting research.