Third grade is learning about Wetland Ecosystems. In a recent part of the study, students learned about producers, consumers, and decomposers, getting their hands dirty in the process! First they watched an informative video on owls with a focus on barn owls. They learned about some of the unique features of an owl. Did you know that an owl can turn its head 270 degrees around and that it has fixed eyes? They also learned about what owls eat and how much an owl family of five consumes in a year.
During the hands-on portion of the lesson, students dissected owl pellets. Teachers modeled how to use tweezers and a wooden pick to carefully separate objects. The students quickly got over the "yuck factor" of dissecting an owl hairball and were fascinated to find skeletons, skulls, talons and leg bones of rodents, shrews, birds and even moles in their pellets. In the process, they learned about primary and secondary consumers, owl adaptations, and food webs.