How to Create an Owl Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Your children will love learning about owls through fun books and activities for preschoolers through elementary age in an owl nature study.

Owls are such mysterious birds. They have an interesting look to them. Plus being nocturnal, they are creatures that many of us don’t get to see very often. I think both of those things add to the mystery of the owl.

Owls are a perfect nature study topic. Since many children won’t have much natural experience observing owls, they will love learning more about them through books and activities.

Owl Nature Study Materials

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In our homeschool, we love incorporating nature into our learning. Beginning a nature study with your children is simple. Just take a nature walk! Once you and your children are getting outside, then it’s so much fun to add in different nature topics to learn more about the natural world around us.

We mostly follow the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum for our nature studies. It’s a yearlong program with weekly topics that include nature walks, literature and activities. However, once in awhile we veer off down a different trail for a week and learn about something not in the curriculum. That’s exactly what we did with our owl nature study.

Owl Nature Study Activities

Our weekly nature study topics follow a very similar pattern. We try to take a nature walk on Mondays. Then the following couple of days we’ll incorporate literature into our learning. The books I choose are mostly nonfiction, though occasionally we’ll also enjoy a good fiction book. Then the end of the week is a good time to incorporate some art into our nature topic.

If I happen to have a lot of books about our topic for the week, or the kids really seem interested in learning more, I’ll change up our regular pattern. In that case, I’ll read more books during the week, and the activities will follow right after the reading instead of later in the week.

Visual Learning Materials

Chalkboard Owl

In our home, we have a chalkboard on our dining room wall. Each week, I like to draw something about our nature study topic on it. I also will hang any printables I find about the topic next to the chalkboard. For our owl study, I drew a barn owl and wrote some tidbits of information around the picture. Then I hung up a couple of printable posters I found through Tanglewood Hollow, one of owl anatomy and one of different kinds of owls.

Owl Nature Study Books and Activities

The books we read and activities we did are good for elementary age children, as I did this owl study with my 4th and 6th grade boys. However, younger children will also enjoy these activities, especially the clay owl. My preschooler participated in our owl nature study too, and weeks later he still talks about owls and the clay owl he made. Owls are a great topic to learn about when you’re teaching preschool at home.

Excellent Owl Books

All About Owls by Jim Arnosky: Jim Arnosky is one of my favorite authors for nature study. His books are interesting with beautiful illustrations. The text is easy enough for my kids to read on their own, but also makes for a nice read aloud because I can pause during the reading to expand on something mentioned. This book gives a wonderful overview of owls: where they live, what they eat, how they hunt, and what they look like.

Owls by Gail Gibbons: Gail Gibbons is another favorite author for nature study. Her books are always extremely informative and have wonderful illustrations. The text is easy to read, yet contains a huge amount of information. This book contains information about what owls look like, how they hunt and communicate, and also contains a good amount of information on owlets.

The Barn Owls by Tony Johnson: The Barn Owls tells a story of an old barn and the owls who have made it their home for over 100 years. The hand-drawn illustrations are amazing.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen: This lovely book tells the story of a father and his child taking a nighttime walk to look for owls. The book is written in such a way that you feel like you are actually going “owling” with them.

Activities to Follow Owl Books

After reading through the above books throughout our owl week, we also did the following activities. Since we do our nature study during our morning basket time, I try to do a little each day so that it only takes around 15-20 minutes to complete.

Nature Journaling

Toward the end of the week, the boys wrote what they learned about owls in their nature journals. They also drew a picture of an owl. Nature journaling is a very effective way to evaluate what your children have learned without the need for tests.

Clay Owls

Clay Owls

At the end of our owl study week, I thought it would be fun to create some owls. It wasn’t really possible to take a nature walk to try to find owls, so I wanted a different activity that the boys would enjoy. I found this post on making owls with clay that we used to create ours.

10 Outdoor Hour Challenges To Get You Started

Additional Owl Books and Activities You May Enjoy

Additional Owl Books

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell: This is a fun book for young children toddler through lower elementary age. Three owl babies wonder where their mother is before she returns at the end of the story.

Screech Owl at Midnight Hollow by C. Drew Lamm: This book, which has beautiful illustrations, follows a screech owl hunting for food for its babies one night. The wording is quite lovely and descriptive.

I Am an Owl! by Miles Kelly: This is a nonfiction book that gives a lot of information about owls. Elementary age children will enjoy reading through this book on their own.

Little Owl Chalk Pastel

We love using You Are an Artist chalk pastel lessons in our homeschool! This little owl lesson is a perfect activity to do during your owl study. All you need is copy or construction paper, chalk pastels, and the lesson with Nana!

Owl Pellets

An owl study wouldn’t be complete without dissecting owl pellets, would it? I opted not to do that this time because we dissected owl pellets a couple of years ago. But kids definitely love being able to dissect a pellet to figure out what the owl ate.

Owls eat their prey whole, but can’t digest everything they eat. So the pellets are what they cough back up that is indigestible, such as fur and bones. Many kits are available online, and most come up an identification sheet on popular prey to see if you can figure out what the owl ate based on the bones.

Create a Fun and Intriguing Owl Nature Study

As you can see, the mysterious owl makes a wonderful nature study topic! Your kids will love reading books about owls and creating their own through art. Dissecting an owl pellet is also likely an activity that they’ll remember for a very long time!

Have you studied owls with your children? Please share some fun activities your kids enjoyed in the comments below!

You may also enjoy these other nature study topics:

Hi, I'm Christy!
Hi, I’m Christy!

I’m a homeschooling mom of 4, from preschool to high school. Homeschooling can be overwhelming, but I believe you can simplify your homeschool day so it’s manageable and enjoyable. When you join the Homeschooling in Progress community, you’ll learn ways to simplify your homeschool through emailed tips PLUS receive 5 Easy Steps to Create a Simple Routine for Productive Homeschool Days guide so you can start simplifying your homeschool today!

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