UPPER ELEMENTARY | SCIENCE
Dissecting Owl Pellets
Students will dissect owl pellets to collect evidence that they will use to reconstruct the owl’s food web and energy pyramid.
- S4L1. Students will describe the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
- a. Identify the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers in a community.
- b. Demonstrate the flow of energy through a food web/food chain beginning with sunlight and including producers, consumers, and decomposers.
- Owl Pellet Bone Chart
- Owl pellet (1 per small group)
- Paper bowl (1 per small group)
- Forceps (1 per small group)
- Journals or 8.5×11 copy paper (1 per student)
- Coloring supplies (enough for each student)
- Explain to students that they will act as science detectives, using evidence to discover what an owl ate and what it’s prey ate – in order to reconstruct the owl’s real-life food web and energy pyramid.
- Display the Owl Pellet Bone Chart and distribute an owl pellet, paper bowl, and forceps to each small group.
- Direct students to dissect the owl pellet, compare the contents to the bone chart, and determine what species the owl ate. Record findings in science journals.