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July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Hands On Science

Hi everyone!  My Throwback Thursday post is from last December.  I completed owl pellets in the classroom - and while I am glad I did it, I wish I had tackled it when I was "supposed" to in October. This next year - bring it on!  

Linking up with The First Grade Parade to share my post from December 2012
I made it!! Owl pellets are complete! I took pictures of some of my happy (and slightly grossed out scientists). A mom donated a box of masks for them to feel official. It didn't help the smell though.

Here's my list of how I chose to prep:

*Butcher paper to keep the desks clean - the plan was to do this outside but it was still extra cold after recess, so we set up inside. Windows and door open... It was smelly!

*Each partner group had a bag of pellets, a heavy duty paper plate to dissect on, a bone bowl, tweezers (borrowed from the middle school science class),a plastic spoon,and a toothpick. I also had skeleton and bone sorting sheets in sheet protectors for the groups to use throughout the process. These came from the company.

*Each kid had their own mask, gloves, and recording paper from Scholastic's printables. After they were done they also got a piece of cardstock to glue their bones on and a Barn Owl Food Web sheet to color from Google Images.

*Each parent helper had a spray bottle full of water to help soften the pellets.  I borrowed these from my old grade level - it's always nice to visit and chat.  :)

So what were the steps for us?
- Students predicted what would be inside and filled out their paper to also describe what the outside looked like. While they were doing that the parents were helping me pass out supplies, open pellet bags, and spraying the pellets to make them moist.

-They started dissecting and putting bones into their bone bowls. One kid seemed to like digging in more, so while they dug the other person cleaned the bones. This part easily took 45 minutes to an hour.

-The second hour was spent deciding which partner got which bone, gluing their bones onto the cardstock, labeling each bone on the paper, filling in the reflection part of their worksheet, and then finally cleaning up.

-As they finished the adults cleaned their desks thoroughly with disinfectant spray and the kids colored an owl food web on the carpet. My kiddos love to color!!

All in all my class completed all this in about 90 minutes. I did need to encourage some kiddos to keep moving.

I'm sure dinner discussions are great tonight.

Well, that was this morning... Hope you had a good day!! One more day...


I guess the moral of the story is that hands on science is fun (even though it's also sometimes gross).  Don't be afraid of it, have fun with it - and give the kids a memory at the same time.  


  1. I need to remember your last sentences when I dread our observation of millipedes lesson. Those critters poo on you, ewww! Then again, you were dissecting poo, that's gross, too! Thanks for sharing!
    First Grade Hugs and High Fives

  2. We do owl pellets as well! The kids loved them this year! Well.. all except for one who crawled under his desk and cried! :)

    Adventures in Room 204

  3. I really like your way of teaching..:)greeting from India.


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