Owl Pellet Dissection and Writing Activity

4/27/2014 / 4 comments
Earlier this year my 5th grade class and I finally managed to dissect owl pellets. First the weather got in the way a lot. Then testing got in the way. Eventually we accomplished the task we were all eagerly awaiting!!

Here are a few snaps from the day.

This duo was so excited to find a feather in their pellet!

I must admit, some students were frustrated by the amount of ribs they found. They are a lot trickier to identify!
 Hard at work matching up those bones!
This crew was amazed by how much fur they found in their pellet.
This pair scored two skulls in their pellet!
The class came to conclude that the pellets packed with dirt were harder to dissect due to the texture and density of the pellet. The ones filled with feathers and fur were easier to take apart, so those groups ultimately found more bones.

I wanted to assess their prior knowledge a few day prior to the experiment. I knew several students had dissected owl pellets in the past. However, I wanted to see if the others knew what they would encounter during the dissection.

I created a series of graphic organizers and worksheets for pre, during and post dissection.

The pre dissection sheets are available in two different forms: one is a graphic organizer that is scaffolded for students who are new to this concept. The other is an open response writing template.
The during dissection sheets are available in three different forms: two are graphic organizers that are again scaffolded to assist students who need direction on what to look for as they dissect. The other is an open response writing template.
The post dissection sheets are available in two different forms as well: one is the scaffolded graphic organizer and the other is an open response writing template.

I also included placards for the names of the scientists dissecting the pellets and a display sign for their writing pieces.

This set is available in my TpT shop.

If you would like to win a free set leave me a comment describing how you will use this in your classroom.

Don't forget to include your email! I will choose a winner using random number generator this Tuesday night!

Congratulations to Julie and Jeannine! I sent your copies off this evening. I hope you and your class enjoy them!
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Freebie - Irregular Vowels Game

4/06/2014 / Leave a Comment

I just finished up running records with my 5th graders last week and one goal jumped out at me for almost all of them - irregular vowels. No matter what level they are reading on, many were tripped up by these tricky sounds! I decided to put together a game for Word Study this week and I would like to share it with everyone!

* All graphics are created by Pretty Grafik Designs *

This freebie includes one game board featuring 11 irregular vowel sounds:

igh - examples: sight, night, light, bright

ng - examples: bang, long, ring, sung

ost - examples: host, ghost, most, post

ow - examples: cow/bow or low/row 

oi - examples: hoist, moist, coil boil, foil

oo - examples: book/look/took or goose/loose

ous - examples: famous, joyous, nervous, anxious

au - examples: fault, haul, vault

sion, tion - examples: information, lotion, mission, vision

augh - examples: laugh, daughter, taught 

ough - examples: cough, rough, tough

It also includes rules of play, a key to help students understand the sounds these irregular vowels make, and a score sheet. This score sheet works well as an exit slip!

If you are interested you can click the pictures above or click here to find it in my TPT shop!

Are irregular vowels hard for your students to master too? Let me know in the comments below!  I hope you are having a great Sunday!

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