Sunday, November 16, 2014

All about nocturnal animals

We have been studying nocturnal animals for the past month! The kids are fascinated by bats, owls and other creatures of the night. Here are some of the ways we learned about them:

Reading about nocturnal animals
We kicked off the unit by getting together with partners and looking through lots of non-fiction books on nocturnal animals. Each partner got one sticky note, and marked where they found something fascinating to share with the rest of the class. Then we sat in a circle and shared our findings.

Which animals are nocturnal?
We read lots of read alouds on nocturnal animals, and also made a few predictions about which animals stay awake at night and which don't. We then filled out a chart with the correct answers.

Later in the unit, we completed this book on nocturnal animals.

Bats, bats, bats
Next we started learning more about bats. Did you know that bats can eat up to 600 mosquitos an hour in the dark of night? We split into six teams and each cut out 100 tiny mosquitos! This helped us get an idea of how big the number 600 really is. Check out the posters below.

Do you like bats?
We learned how to record information using a survey and graph for the first time. We visited our first grade science buddies and asked them the survey questions "Do you like bats?" (Unsurprisingly, since their class was studying bats as well, we ran out of room on the "yes" side of the graph.)

Onto owls
Then we dove into learning all about owls! I work at the nature center during the summers so am very lucky to be able to bring in some of their learning materials. We got to see a real great horned owl mount, as well as a wing, so we could study how an owl's body parts helps it survive. Below are pictures of us practicing how an owl's ears help it to hear better.

We also learned about an owl's life cycle, practiced how to draw an owl in our science journals, and created several owl art projects!

Owl pellet dissection
One of the most fun projects was dissecting owl pellets! The kids were fascinated by the bones that were found inside of these real owl pellets. Here are some pictures of the little scientists hard at work dissecting and categorizing the bones that they found:

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