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Story Time: Owl Moon

Story Time: Owl Moon - Crafts and activities for the picture book

The Greatest German Shepherd in the World wanted out at 5:30 this morning.  So I bundled up (because it was -1 degree outside) and stepped out on the back porch with him.  The ground was covered in snow, the stars were bright chips in the velvet night, the air was crisp (to say the least).  I stood there, breathing, enjoying the quiet.  Then I heard it.

Who-who-who-whooooo-who

If you’re a country dweller you know that even out here, the sound is rare.  I held my breath.  It came again.  I couldn’t have stopped the slow smile from spreading across my face at gunpoint.  Owls are such lovely, mysterious creatures, aren’t they?  All the more so because we rarely catch a glimpse or a sound of them.  We know they’re there, hunting the woods and the fields at night, but they are such silent fliers, such very nocturnal animals, we generally only get to enjoy them in zoos.

Not so the child in Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon.  In this beautiful story, the child (whose gender is not specified, so All Children can imagine being the star) is taken by Pa on a snowy, moonlit night to look for owls.  And it’s convinced me this is something I should do with my own littles.  Right after I get over my fear of the dark!

Owl Moon

I love Jane Yolen.  I have done for years.  I fell in love with her fantasy books long before I discovered her children’s books.  There is something about her writing that soothes and excites at the same time.  Owl Moon is a perfect example of that.  Let’s dig into some great activities to go along with this precious book.

Language

Figurative language plays a big part in Yolen’s writing.  Here’s a free worksheet that covers some of the language she uses and gives your littles a chance to write some figurative language of their own.

Owl Moon Figurative LanguageYour littles might also have fun writing directions for going owling.  Here’s another free worksheet to help them along:

How to Go OwlingYour child might also enjoy writing another story like Owl Moon.  Explain to him that Owl Moon is a personal narrative, meaning it’s a story written in the first person about an event that did happen or could happen.  Have him think of a fun activity he did with you or his other parent (or even a grandparent) and write a story about it.   If you really want to test his mettle, require that he use figurative language in his story.

Finally (as if I haven’t overloaded you already), you could point out to your little that the child in the story and Pa do not speak on the way home from owling.  Have your little imagine what they would have said if they had spoken then write a dialog about it.

Science

Reading about owling is sure to get your littles interested in owls in general.  Here’s a free download with a short lesson on great horned owls.Learn About Great Horned Owls

If your littles get fascinated by the idea of owl pellets, there is always the pellet dissection.  This is going to cost you, unless you can safely collect a pellet from the woods or barn.  But it won’t cost much.  Home Science Tools offers an owl pellet dissection kit for less than $5.  You can even get a kit for 5-10 students at a discounted cost of less than $12.  The website even offers lab instructions complete with a short video.  Cheap and easy, you can’t beat that!

If you would rather focus on the moon for your science project, Julian’s Science Fair offers a veritable Ton of great experiments with which to learn.  In the meantime, you can have your littles keep a moon phase journal with my free download.

moon phase journal

But the best science project you can do is to take your littles owling, just like Pa did in the book.  Have fun.  Have hot chocolate when you get home.

Crafts

Owls are beautiful creatures and fun to craft.  Here’s a fun felt owl you can make with your little to hang on the wall or just hang out with.

Felt Owl

Felt Owl Craft for Story Time: Owl Moon

How cute is he?!

 

What you need:

owl materials

 

 

 

 

What you do:

felt and templates

  • Cut out your templates from the free pdf template.
  • The body will be cut from brown felt, the face from the cream or white felt, the tummy and eyes from the orange felt, and the talons and beak from the yellow.
  • Trace your templates or cut around them, whichever is easiest for you.  I like to trace them because the paper tends to slip off the felt when you’re cutting.

felt tummy

  • Center the orange tummy on your owl’s body.  Glue into place.

face and tummy felt

  • Center the face on the owls head with the bottom edge barely overlapping the top of the tummy.  Glue into place.

assembled owl face

  • Finish the face by gluing on the eyes and beak.

assembled owl

  • Glue the talons to the bottom of the body, just overlapping the bottom of the tummy.

felt owl

  • Add the googly eyes.

littlest with owlVoila!  A cute felt owl and a smile!

Food

hot chocolate

Nothing is better after a jaunt through the snow than a warming cup of hot chocolate.  And there are so many ways to make it yummier!

I mean, there’s plain hot chocolate and there’s hot chocolate with marshmallows.  Hot chocolate with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and a cinnamon stick.

Or there’s Snow Flake Cocoa.

What you need:

What you do:

  • Stir ingredients together in a slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until chips are melted
  • Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes

That’s all.  You can do this in a large saucepan on the stove too, if you don’t want to wait, but the slow cooker will have it ready for you when you return from owling.

Or Candy Cane Cocoa

What you need:

What you do:

  • Heat milk in a saucepan till hot but not boiling.
  • Whisk in the chocolate and crushed candy canes until they’re melted.
  • Pour into four mugs and garnish with whipped cream and a miniature candy cane per mug.

Um, yum.

How about Easy Mexican Hot Chocolate?

What you need:

What you do:

  • In a large mug, blend the first four ingredients.
  • Pour in the milk and stir to mix.
  • Pour in boiling water and stir.

That one’s easy peasy.

I could keep going, but I’ll stop there.  How many different types of hot chocolate do you need?!

(Lots.  The answer is lots.)

David Bowie rocks forever.

Love wins,

KT

 

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.

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2 Comments

  1. I love this. You are rocking it. And I love Owl Moon. Pinning and sharing!
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