GEMS Science Learning Gets “Hands-On” as Student’s Explore Owl Pellets

Target 3: Flexible Learning Environments – FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step – Make relevant and authentic problems become the focus of connected learning.


Do you know what owls eat to survive the winter? To answer this question, students in Allison MacKenzie’s First-Grade class, rolled up their sleeves and went to work dissecting owl pellets.

owl pellet

A close-up look at an Owl Pellet

The students in her class had spent time this winter reading and writing about different animals located in Vermont. They have discussed how various species survive the winter. They also explored how animals find food – a crucial part of the life cycle. This led them to wonder about what different animals eat in the winter in Vermont.

Seizing a teachable moment, Mrs. Mackenzie asked probing questions about owls. Students made predictions, asked questions, researched and then finally learned firsthand what owls ate through a pellet dissection. It was a wonderful experience for the students to do their own “hands-on” owl scientific investigation!

young gems investigators

Young first-grade explorers!

Students were excited to share their findings to a broader audience then just their classroom! Please click here to listen as they first-grade investigators tell all about their interesting discoveries.

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