Now that I'm a home-school mum I find that my brain has taken on a new level of crazy. Before I had all the normal mum things to think about, whereas now I also have lesson plans and how to keep the kids interested during their daily lessons. I am also dreaming lesson ideas. Yep, I've completely lost it!
In Australia, the science curriculum for early primary includes learning about living things (so put away all those printables for vampires and zombies LOL).
Here at home we have had a lot of fun learning about plants, animals and even our own bodies. Yesterday we decided to focus on one specific animal and learn a bit more about it. We chose owls.
To be honest, I wasn't caught up in the owl craze that seemed to sweep the world a couple of years ago. Sure, they are cute but not really my thing. I really like hummingbirds, dolphins and lying in a hammock with a cold drink! Funnily enough, during research on owls to help the kids with their mini project, I actually gained quite a fascination for these beautiful animals.
Our owl mini-project was a complete success with the girls. My eldest, who is 8, is a very kinesthetic learner so I like to keep projects as hands-on and interactive as I can. Both the girls also love worksheets and printables. Anything they can write on and colour will keep them going for hours.
Our learning-about-owls day started with a toddler tantrum, spilt cereal all over the floor and a lengthy discussion about what pants to wear that day but then we made it to reading a beautiful book about owls that we got from the local library. It was a non-fiction reader with full colour photos that my first grader read aloud to her siblings. We talked about the different species of owl and the range of sizes. The girls wanted to know what the smallest owl in the world was and we discovered the Elf Owl which only grows to about 13cm (or 5") in height! That's around the size of an average coffee cup.
Our learning and curiousity then took us to the largest owl in the world the Great Grey Owl which grows to a whopping 72cm (or 2'4") on average.
The more we discussed owls, the more questions the girls had and we went into a research project online and in our library book to answer their questions. I then brought out the Owl mini-project I had created and then girls got to work putting their knowledge onto the pages of the mini book.
They worked independently and coloured, cut and made their owl projects. I was pleased at how much they enjoyed learning with this project and how much information they retained about owls. I was also pleased with how their busy-ness meant I got a few moments to myself (in which I may have sat in the walk-in-wardrobe and smuggled in a KitKat).
I have created a no-prep mini owl project for use with your own classroom or home-schooled kids too. You can access the FREE printable right here. Simply print pages 2-4 and allow the kids to get started. Page 2 is a Fact sheet on owls. You can either read it to them for younger classes or have them read it themselves to build on their reading and comprehension skills.
After reading the facts you can discuss what you have learnt and even encourage them to write down the questions they have about owls. The mini-book on pages 3-4 of the printable allows them to colour and draw their own owls and put the information together in a small 7 page booklet which is stapled onto the owl's middle.
You can further extend their learning in various subjects by writing their own narrative about owls or another animal of interest, doing further research into owls and their habitats or even watching a Youtube video on owls. Then tell them that you are going to pretend to be owls for the day and put them to bed - owls are nocturnal you know LOL.