Hoot, Hoot: A Lesson Plan on Owls for the Preschool Class
- Students will name two different owl species.
- Name three facts about owls.
- Understand the meaning of the word "nocturnal" and recognize that most owls hunt at night.
- Reinforce counting and simple addition.
- Sequence numbers with 85% accuracy
Comparing Owl Species
Begin the lesson by asking children what they know about owls. Explain that owls are birds and, like other birds, their babies come from eggs. Show your students pictures and locate the different species of owls on a map while briefly discussing and comparing the different types of owls that can be found around the world. A few include the barn owl, burrowing owl, snow owl, pygmy owl and the great horned owl. Discuss each owl’s habitat and food source. Some owls eat mice, frogs, snakes, bats and fish. Point out that one of the smallest owls is the pygmy measuring only 6 inches in length. Tell children that most owls are nocturnal and hunt at night although the barn owl and pygmy will occasionally hunt during the day. Ask students which owl they like the best and have them draw a picture of their favorite owl and its habitat using crayons. Display on a bulletin board.
WHOO Wants to be Like Me Printable Book and Poem
Tell students they will be learning some exciting facts about owls while reading the printable owl facts booklet that can be downloaded in the media gallery. The teacher will print and give each student a copy of the booklet and read it together. Instruct the class to complete the math owl worksheet at the end of the book.
Children will love rehearsing the owl poem while practicing simple addition. Before the lesson, the teacher will print, color, cut and laminate several owls and a large tree limb for each student. The teacher will write a number on the board. Students will rehearse the poem using the number, solve the addition problem using their owl and yell the sum out loud. Continue with several different numbers.
3 little owls sat in a tree, screeching won’t you please come play with me?
1 little owl flew to the tree, now how many owls do you see?
Owl Mosaic Picture
After reading the book "Owl Moon," by Jane Yolen and "Owl Babies," by Martin Waddle, children will make a beautiful mosaic owl picture.
- Black heavy paper
- Yellow, brown and black construction paper
- Owl template
How to Make:
The teacher will cut out a big circle (moon), two small circles (eyes), two talons, and a triangular beak from the yellow construction paper. Cut two small circles (inner eyes) from black construction paper and a branch and two circles to go around the owl’s eyes from brown construction paper. Using the owl template, the teacher will draw the owl on the black card stock paper with a pencil. Instruct students to glue the moon, branch eyes, talons and beak on the owl. Using glue, outline the outside of the owl. Place glue on the inside of the owl and sprinkle with birdseed. These beautiful mosaic owls make terrific displays.
Can You Hear Like I Do?
Remind preschoolers that owls have excellent hearing to help them find food to eat. The way an owl's ears are made help them to hear well. They have tufts of feathers that look like ears, but are not. An owl’s ears are located behind their eyes and one ear sits up higher than the other one. The ear that sits low helps the owl hear sounds on the ground. The ear that sits up high helps him locate animals in the sky.
Tell children they are going to play a game to demonstrate how owls listen to find food. One student will pretend to be an owl. The student will sit on the floor. The teacher will blindfold the owl and designate one child to be the prey. The child can be a bat, mouse, snake or frog. The child will sneak up behind, beside or stand over the owl and make the appropriate sound. The owl must locate the animal by pointing in the direction the sound is coming from, name the animal making the sound, and try to guess the child who is making the noise.
WHooo Can See Like Me?
Explain the meaning of peripheral vision. Tell children that owls do not have this because their eyes do not move like ours. Owls can only see straight ahead, but they can turn their heads almost all the way around to see things behind them. We are going to play a game to learn how owls see.
The teacher will print out the owl mask, located at the Preschool Kids site, for each student and follow the directions. Take a toilet paper roll and cut it in half. Using rubber cement, glue the toilet paper rolls to the eye holes on the mask. When the masks are dry, the students will put the masks on. Ask your class the questions below. Explain that this is how an owl sees so they have to turn their head around to see from side to side and behind them.
- Can you see the child standing on your right side?
- Can you see the desk on your left side?
- Can you see straight ahead?
Owl Sequencing Game
Give each child ten owl cut-outs with the numbers one through ten written on them. Students will sit on the floor; the teacher will spread the owls out all around the child on both sides and behind the child. Children must race to find the owls and arrange them in the correct order. The first child to find and sequence all ten of their owls is the winner.
Owl Extension Ideas
Additional preschool lesson plans about owls may include a science activity. Purchase owl pellets and let students dissect them and sort the bones by size and shape. Purchase owl and other bird feathers and explain that owl feathers are lighter and shaped differently, allowing them to soar through the air silently. Compare the feathers. Whatever owl lessons you choose, children will be all the wiser about owls.
Book, poem and photo courtesy of Lisa King, all rights reserved.
Owl Facts; http://www.owl-pictures.com/
Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon. Philomel. October 23, 1987.
Waddle, Martin. Owl Babies. Candlewick. October 7, 1996.
The Mailbox. September Issue. Can You Hear a Pin Drop?: page 78.