Thursday, March 22, 2012


Do you wanna know what that is in the picture?...that reminds me of a movie line..."Do you know what that is highness? That is the sound of the shrieking eels." (name the movie). Anyway, we had a night theme goin' on for home school and had been talking about owls. Come to find out, Hickman Charter had owl pellets available (sanitized, I might add) so I thought that might be really cool for the kids to see. For those of you who are unaware, an owl pellet is a regurgiated mass of undigested parts of whatever the owl ate. Yes, I have to admit, it was kinda gross...fur and bones all over my kitchen table left me seriously sanitizing when we were through. But, it was also very interesting...and possibly even fun!'s what it looked like when we started:

And here's the best we could do at separating things out. I should have put a ruler with this picture so you could tell how teeny all these bones were. It's a miracle we managed to get this much out without snapping them all into even smaller fragments!
They gave us a diagram with the pellets so we could figure out what kind of animal skeleton we were looking at...turns out ours was a mouse. Surprise surprise. The other things on the diagram were: bird, mole and rat. I was really hoping for a bird or mole...just something less ordinary.
Jemma diggin' fur out of the skull.

There it is all cleaned up!

And, another shot.

We had to soak some of the bones in water for a while so the fur and what not could be scraped off/out's Carter keeping an eye on things.

And, after the dissection was all over (and CLEANED up) we painted owl masks.

Gavin had gotten up from his nap at this point and was permitted to join in the fun. NO, I did not let him participate in the dissection. Can you imagine the mess he would have made!?!?!

Side note: I really need to make these kids some art smocks...I have a pattern and gobs of fabric. Now all I need is time. ;)


Kristina said...

The Princess Bride... only one of the best movies ever!!
Looks like you already a adorable art smock for Jemma. Um, what kid wouldn't be in heaven dissecting a regurgitated ball of fur and rat? I am going to have to get my hands on some of those... my boys would love me for it. You're the best homeschool mom on Earth!

Melanie said...

I totally remember doing this in elementary school!! That's awesome that you were able to get ahold of some owl pellets so that Jemma and Carter could have fun dissecting (and learning of course)!
Love you!

Eric and Jewels said...

Cool! Way to go Jen looks like Jemma and Carter had fun with this lesson ;) We've got some kind of bird of prey in our neighborhood and it likes to take out pidgeons on our lawn and lily loves to play with what it leaves behind if i'm not quick enough on clean up duty (grows i know). N-e-ways i love you and i mailed you your shirt on saturday! Have a good one!

Sharee and Arthur said...

Wow, awesome science lesson! How I wish I had some resources like that! Good job, Jen. You're doing such a great job with homeschooling Jemma.