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Science at TTE – read “owl” about it

Third grader Keely Jester dissects an owl pellet to learn more about bones, joints, muscles and coordination as part of her science studies at Timber Trail Elementary.  The rodent bones allow students to study skeletal structures.

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett

Third graders at Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) spent some time learning about owls by going through what they leave behind. Dissecting owl pellets (which are dry and sanitary) afford them the opportunity to view the skeletons of rodents and other small animals eaten by owls, which gives the students a hands-on opportunity to learn about bones, joints, muscles and coordination.

“The children were very excited to do a hands on activity during our science unit on the human body,” said third-grade teacher Rhonda Cook.

“They removed the rodent bones from the owl pellet and compared and contrasted their structures with the human skeleton.  They tried to identify the rodent bones by reconstructing the skeleton and categorizing the bones.”

Any thoughts about a possible “yuck” factor were quickly forgotten as students delved into the project.

“After they started pulling out of the owl pellet, the children were so interested in finding the rodent bones that they didn’t think it was gross,” said Cook.

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