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Owl Moon Ideas and Activities

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 2/8/2012

On a quiet winter night a young girl and her father journey into the woods in search of a Great Horned Owl. It's a special honor for the girl and she respects the rules of the search.

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    Winner of a Caldecott Medal, Owl Moon is a quiet inducing book! What does that mean? It's the type of book that will calm your students and create a peaceful19316724.JPG  atmosphere in the classroom. Read it is a quiet, whispery voice to set the tone. The pictures and actions of the characters will take over. Then use the lesson plans for Owl Moon to provide follow-up activities.

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    Learning Goals

    • Students will participate in a teacher-led discussion of the book.
    • Students will use paint to create a picture similar to those in the book.
    • Students will learn facts about owls.
    • Students will participate in a listening game.

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    Owl Facts

    Owls have eyes that face forward. Other birds have eyes on the sides of the head. The owl cannot move its eyes around like we can. So the owl is able to turn its head almost all the way around.

    Owls hunt at night and eat rodents, frogs, insects and other birds.

    Owls can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

    There are 19 kinds of owls in North America.

    Owls have 3 eyelids.

    One ear is higher than the other on some owls. This really fine-tunes their hearing for hunting with prey.

    Owls eat rodents, which controls rodent populations-a good thing for humans.

    The Snow Owl hunts in the daytime unlike other owls.

    Find a local wildlife conservation agency that can accommodate a visit by your students. If a field trip cannot be arranged, perhaps a representative can visit the classroom to discuss owls.

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    Comprehension/ Discussion Questions

    1. Did the little girl and her father intend to do any harm to the owl?

    2. Why did they go “owling”?

    3. What kind of rules were necessary when going "owling"? Did the little girl follow the rules?

    4. What other kinds of nature walks could you take in your area?

    a. Observe birds building nests, tending their eggs and babies.

    b. Life on the water.

    c. Pond life.

    d. Migration of birds.

    5. After they saw the owl, it was time to go home. The little girl in Owl Moon says, "I knew then I could talk, I could even laugh out loud. But I was a shadow as we walked home." What does this mean and why did she behave this way?

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    Paint An Owl Moon Scene

    Owl Moon is a Caldecott Winner for its stunning illustrations, which set the tone for the book.

    Study and discuss a few illustrations in the book.

    Use blue or grey construction paper with white, brown, black, dark green and grey non-toxic tempera paint to paint a snow scene.

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    Can You Hear an Owl? Game

    Game:

    Many animals have a keen sense of hearing. Practice using the sense of hearing by playing a game. Choose a student to be “it” and use a scarf to cover the student’s eyes. Point to another student to be an “owl”. The “owl” hoots quietly until “it” locates the “owl”. Make sure the area is barrier free so “it” stays safe. It’s a good activity to play outside or in a gym. As an added activity, see if “it” can guess who is playing the “owl”.

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    Use the lesson plans for Owl Moon to get the most out of this classic picture book. The book can be a springboard for activities with students young and old. Check out the companion articles in the series section below!

References

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Owl Moon, a Caldecott winner, can be used with children young and old. The young ones will enjoy the adventure of a child and her father as they search for an owl on a quiet winter night. The older children will learn the variety of literary devices used in the text of the book.
  1. Teaching Literary Devices with Owl Moon
  2. Mini Lessons with Owl Moon
  3. Owl Moon Ideas and Activities

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