The following activities in this” Teachers Pack: Key Stage One” are suggested as ways of using the process of learning about owls as a route into activities in many parts of the curriculum.
- Science / the Environment / Conservation
- Reading / Language
- Story Telling / Drama / Movement
The owl’s place in the environment
- Find out what Owls eat. What do their prey eat? Introduce simple food chains. Make a class picture / chart of a food chain.
- The owl is a raptor/hunter. What other raptors are in the UK? What other raptors can you identify in the world? What do raptors have to help them catch prey?
- Play the “Find the Bird of Prey” game.
- Find out about flying
- Wings instead of arms.
- The role of feathers.
- Hollow bones with “honeycomb” strengthening structures make the bird very light.
- Owls fly almost silently – can you find out how they do this?
Resources for Teachers Pack: Key Stage One
Owls are found on every continent except Antarctica. There are over two hundred different species which range in size from tiny Elf Owls only 5 centimetres long to the huge European Eagle Owl which can be as long as 80 centimetres.
Owls have a high profile in almost every culture – they are either venerated or despised, worshipped or feared.
- Select a geographical region and an owl that lives there and find out as much as possible about the
- habitat / environment.
- Hunting times.
- The people’s attitude to owls
- The threats to the owls’ sustainability etc.
- Make a picture map of the area and put the results in your investigations. Find the country/area on the globe.
There are many resources online with huge volumes of data about owls at many levels. Therefore this is an excellent area for the teaching of ICT skills.
Owls appear in Egyptian Hieroglyphics ( opportunity for a side investigation of picture writing) and are mentioned in the bible. William Shakespeare is probably the originator of the” Tuwhit Tuwhoo” transliteration of the Tawny Owl’s call (This is usually two owls calling and responding to each other rather than one owl. One says, “Tuwhit” and the other replies, “Tuwhoo” ).
Athene the Goddess of Athens, Wisdom and War had Little Owls as her messengers. The people of Athens venerated the Little Owl and encouraged them to live in the city on the Acropolis. For centuries a little owl could be found on the four drachma coin and is still depicted on the one Euro coin of Greece today.
Reading and Language
Books and Stories
- “Owl Babies”
- “The Owl Who was Afraid of the Dark”
- “ Bird Business”
- Discussions with small groups about issues in the above books eg.
- “Mum going away and coming back”
- “Fears and how to deal with them”
Books and Poems
- “Owl Babies” Martin Waddell
- “The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark”
- “Bird Business” Jenni Morgan
- “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” Edward Lear
- Vocabulary building using the words in the wordsearch.
- Talk about what has been learned. Work in pairs to describe an owl.
- Wordsearch sheet
- Make Owl Masks
- Make Model Owls in playdough, plasticene etc.
- Create an Owl Costume by sticking paper “feathers” coloured in various shades of brown onto an old shirt.
- Owl Mask Template
- Working in groups, re-tell the stories in the books.
- Make a play or a mime or a dance, using the story “Bird Business”
- Talk about our responsibility for the environment
- Each one of us can do a small thing to help the environment. Let each child or a group, choose a thing they will do to save energy, prevent waste etc.
- Why are some people afraid of the dark? Discuss what we can do to overcome fears.