Travis Bronson takes a close look at what's inside his owl pellet as his class dissected them in science.
Fourth graders got hands on with their most recent lesson on owls that was both “gross” and “fun”.

To wrap up science lessons on the relationships of living things, the life cycle of animals and a closer focus on owls, students grabbed tweezers and a magnifying glass and dissected owl pellets. They read a long article on owls and learned about their different traits and how they survive in the wild. They also learned what they eat. All of that is what brought about today’s activity.

Owls can’t digest everything they eat, such as fur, bones, teeth, feathers and insect shells. Those pieces form a tight pellet that is later spit up by the owl. “It’s kind of gross but kind of fun,” says Alyssa Lindsey as she dissects her pellet, finding bones and skulls from rodents.

The classroom was filled with little outbursts of “I found a skull” or “look at the teeth” as students were looking through their pellets. Each student had a chart of some of the different types of things they might find; once they matched them up, they could figure out what types of animals their owl ate. “It’s fun when you find something,” says Jayce Ritchie.

Next week, they’ll take dissection to another level when they partner up with the high school biology class and get to dissect pigs and frogs.