It started during shared reading this morning when we read a darling owl poem from Deanna Jump's owl unit (check it out here-I definitely recommend it-it also comes with a great book to use for shared reading). The kids had a hoot reading the owl poem in our pocket chart and locating letters and sight words. Over the weekend I made 5 little owls to decorate the pocket chart-spending an hour cutting and pasting scrapbook paper into owls was clearly a sane use of my time Sunday night because they look darling!
After the owl poem, we moved on to the big book Owl Babies. Now the text in this big book is pretty small, so it isn't ideal to use for teaching print strategies, however this book makes an amazing read aloud. It has a cute storyline about 3 little owls who miss their mom while she is out hunting for food. The 3 baby owls discuss where their mom might be and how much they miss her. My students think it is hilarious that on nearly every page, the littlest owlet- named Bill, says "I want my mommy!" I used my owl puppets to act out the story as I read it, and then of course we had to retell the story several times throughout the day as all of my students were just desperate to get their hands on those little owl puppets. The owl puppets, along with my small and very durable boardbook copy of Owl Babies, will be a literacy station choice next week.
This afternoon we also read some information books about owls and then tomorrow we will make a Venn Diagram comparing bats and owls. The kids are always surprised to learn that bats aren't birds and they don't have feathers! I'll also be encouraging the kids to try out some informational writing themselves this week during writing workshop or while they our at our writing center during literacy station time (they have been mostly sticking to narrative writing so far). Drawing a bat or owl and labeling the parts would be an awesome piece of kindergarten writing for this time of year.
At the end of the day we had a ton of fun making our own colorful owls. When I was at Target over the weekend I happened to see a pack of scrapbook paper on sale, so I bought it and turns out it was perfect paper for making owls! I traced an owl body and two wings onto each the paper, and then let the kids pick out what color/pattern paper they wanted. Then we used orange paper to cut out beaks and feet for our owls. We rounded out white and black squares into circles for the eyes and our owls were complete.
I have a bit of an owl theme going in my classroom this year (totally obsessed with owls!) and I am seriously considering leaving our owls up on the classroom wall all year long since they look so cute. Maybe I'll add a caption on top, like "Kindergarten is a Hoot!"