Tippecanoe School Corporation
Woodland students find owl activities a hoot
Sue Scott

“Oh, look at this!” Excitement fills Joanne Sprunger’s classroom at Woodland Elementary School as students begin to dissect owl pellets. “Woah, I think this is a bone,” another student shouts.

Second graders are completing the hands-on activity after learning about food chains and ecosystems. Each student is given an owl pellet, paper plate, toothpicks and a chart to help identify the bones.

“All the students were inquisitive and excited to take a closer look at the owl pellet,” says Sprunger. “Some were surprised at what they found. I enjoyed listening to them gasp and chatter about it.” 

“It’s pretty gross, but it’s fun,” says student Caius Crawford as he carefully breaks apart the ball with toothpicks. “I found a lot of bones, a bone with teeth and a tiny skull.”

Classmate Gwen Jones uncovered bones and fur in her owl pellet. “We are learning how owls eat. They aren’t able to digest certain parts so they spit up these pellets,” says Gwen. “We are discovering what they have eaten, like a mole, rodent or bird.”

A grant from the Lafayette Breakfast Optimist Club helped cover the cost of the materials. “The goal of this experience was to make learning fun and memorable while learning about predator-prey relationships,” Sprunger says. “I also thought it would be neat for students to learn more about their school mascot. After all, we are the Woodland Owls.”

Students discovering what's inside owl pellets
Students look at what they find under the microscope
students dissect owl pellets