Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Friday, October 26, 2012

Week 3: Raptors

They are birds of prey.  Birds that hunt other animals with their sharp talons are curved beaks.  This week we learned about raptors with a special focus on owls, just in time for Halloween. 

Ollie the Owl met everyone by singing this song to each one of our friends: 
Owl in the Tree
(Sung To: Skip to my Lou)

Owl in the tree says, who, who, who
Owl in the tree says, who, who, who
Owl in the tree says, who, who, who
Who, who, are you? (point to a child and have them say their name)
To learn more about raptors specifically, we read About Raptors: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill and illustrated by John Sill.  This is an excellent book for the young ones.  It keeps the text simple and has beautiful pictures of various raptors living their lives.

We then had a visit from Wesselman resident, Otis the screech owl.  Naturalist Neal showed us his talons and beak and eye and described how this type, and most types of owls live. 
We had been listening so well for so long, we got up and sored like an eagle to “Eagles” by Terri Hendrix from the CD Animal Playground
Next we did a flannel board rhyme:
Five Little Owls
Five little owls on a moonlit night
Five little owls are quite a sight.
Five little owls Are you keeping score?
One flew away! And then there were Four.
Four little owls happy as can be,
One flew away then there were Three.
Three little owls calling Who, Who
One flew away and that left two.
Two little owls having lots of fun.
One flew away and that left One.
One little owl we are almost done
He flew away and that leaves none.

I don't remember where I got this rhyme, so
if I took it from you, let me know and I
will give you due credit! 

Next we read "Whoo Goes There?" by Jennifer A. Ericsson and illustrated by Bert Kitchen.  This is an excellent book for THREE reasons.  1) It teaches children what different animals owls eat.  2) It teaches them what animals are up and active at night (nocturnal), and 3) It will well written with repetition that captures the attention of even young readers.

Poor little mouse fell prey to my little hawk!

After the story, I pulled out several small stuffed animals representing "prey" and gave each child a chance with sugar cube tongs that is like a raptor talon.  Each of my "hawks" took turns capturing prey.  This was a very popular activity and promotes gross motor skills.   If you don't happen to have these thongs, any tongs would do.   

We now took a break to make our pine cone owl craft.  Each child did their own type of owl and they all turned out beautifully. 
To bring everyone back to the circle, we played a game of “Mouse, Mouse, HAWK!”  The kids quickly moved around the room as I said, “mouse, mouse…HAWK!” At which point Ernie the Eagle puppet would swoop down on any “mouse” that didn’t freeze when I said “hawk.”  
With Halloween just around the corner, I couldn't let it go unacknowledged.  Using our Haunted House Playmat, I told them them story of "Jack O'Lantern, Jack O'Lantern, What do you see?"

Lisa at Libraryland is hosting this week's Flannel Friday. Visit the Flannel Friday blog for more information on our group.

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