10.01.2011

Hoot Owl Stories, Crafts and Fun

Fall officially began this week (although, on the day our air conditioning didn't work, it definitely still felt like summer).  Despite the weather, the start of fall gets me thinking about squirrels and owls and other forest critters.  This week, my students and I read and learned about owls.  It was lots of fun.  Here are some of the owly stories and activities we did plus a few extras.

The grey and orange owl mask in the photo above is a free printable from AnimalJr.com, where you can also find spider, cat, and bat versions just in time for Halloween.  All four designs are also offered in black and white, so students can decorate their own.  I wore the mask and used an owl hand puppet to build excitement about the topic.

Owl Babiesis a beautiful 1992 picture book by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson about three owlets who don't know where their mother has gone.  Kindergarten listeners relate easily to the anxiety and eventual reassurance experienced by the owls in the story.  The dark setting in the illustrations helps students understand that owls are nocturnal animals.

  Little Hoot is another great owl-themed picture book written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace.  Little Hoot just wants to go to bed at night when his friends do, but his parents have other ideas.  Students will relate to bedtime disputes, and they can compare and contrast their desire to stay up late with Little Hoot's wish to turn in early.

After the read-alouds, we used these popsicle-stick owl puppets for an owl counting song.  Templates for the little owls are available at Sunflower Storytime*, where you can also see adorable examples of them all made up.  Then visit Mel's Desk where you can find the words to the song, Hoot Owl Count.

Next, students got to make owls to take home.  I used the simple owl template and idea from Woman's Day.  Kindergarteners enjoyed the craft and especially loved getting to smell the sweet candy corn noses.

If you haven't had enough owl excitement, visit Feeling Inspired to get these free printable owl bookmarks and book plates.

Also checkout the Owlygraphic novel series by Andy Runton.
At Runton's site, you can find six free Owly comics in downloadable pdfs.  Each of these nearly wordless comic stories features Owly and Wormy's friendship and adventures.  Older elementary school students seem to enjoy this series.  Reading wordless stories helps students understand visual cues and sequence of events.  Teachers can encourage students to make predictions about what the characters are thinking.  Readers can even create text to accompany the stories.  See for yourself just how cute Owly and Wormy are in their online animation.

*This post originally included a link to the wrong site for the owl templates.  Thanks so much to Leah from Sunflower Storytime for pointing out my mistake!!

2 comments:

leahck said...

If anyone is looking for the owl templates, they are actually posted on sunflowerstorytime.com :)

librarianism said...

Leah, I am so sorry for including the wrong link for your fantastic owl template. My kindergarteners LOVED singing along with the owl counting song as I added and subtracted little popsicle stick puppets made with your pattern! Thank you so much for sharing it!