Owls in the Classroom

picture of HackBack newsletterby Kathy Pfeiffer

Whether it’s Hedwig the Snowy Owl, soaring through Harry Potter adventures, nutty ‘Owl’ entertaining us in Winnie The Pooh, or a colorful big-eyed fellow decorating a youngster’s backpack, one thing is certain, owls are popping up everything, capturing children’s imaginations and stealing their hearts.

Large or small, cute or scary, wise and serene or studious or silly, owls are depicted in many ways in our culture, making them a natural source of fascination to children and adults. Raptor Inc. is pleased to announce two new educational programs designed to build on a child’s enthusiasm toward owls, as they observe them, learn about them, and take part in discovery exercises.

Owl Babies

Sure to excite young children, this program was developed specifically for an audience of 4-8 year olds. It features a book reading of Owl Babies, a Big Book by Martin Waddell, and a visit with a live Eastern Screech Owl, mentioned in the book. The educator will describe where the owls might be seen, and what to listen for, and artifacts will be available to touch, and vocalizations played. The program costs $50.00, and lasts 30 minutes.

Pellet Dissection

Not only will children have the fun and excitement of seeing two live owls in the classroom, they will get to experience ornithology as they examine owl pellets, complete with magnifying glasses and latex gloves to wear. The program is designed for 4th graders and up, and includes a visit with two live owl ambassadors, a discussion of their adaptations as predators and their part in the food web followed by pellet dissection and analysis. A bone chart will be provided to help identify the prey items that were eaten and found in the pellets. All materials are included, the program costs $225.00, lasts 1.5 hours, and is designed for 30 participants.

So far, the programs have been a big success and are gaining in popularity as the word gets out. A teacher at a Pellet Dissection program said, “The students couldn’t quit talking about it (the dissection) for days!” She loved the program and said they learned a lot. To sign up for a program, contact Raptor Inc. by emailing raptor@raptorinc.org or call 513-825-3325, option 1, and leave a message.