The Owl

Activity 1: KWL Chart. Complete the exercise below. You may have some research to do as well.

Activity 2: Word list. Read and write the word list in your notebooks.

while, bones, scarcely, mouser, mice, rolled, surprised, swallows, winking, comical, ducklings, capture, oak, dusk, fight, squeak, ruffled, bag, Fred, whoo, awake, creeping

Activity 4: Independent Reading. Now read the following passage aloud.


“Where did you get that owl, Harry?

Fred and I found him in the old, hollow oak.”

“How did you know he was there?”

“I’ll tell you. Fred and I were playing ‘hide and seek’ round the old barn, one night just at dusk. I was just creeping round the corner, when I heard a loud squeak, and a big bird flew up with something in his claws. I called Fred, and we watched him as he flew to the woods. Fred thought the bird was an owl, and that he had a nest in the old oak. The next day we went to look for him, and, sure enough, he was there.”

“But how did you catch him? I should think he could fight like a good fellow with that sharp bill.”

“He can when he is wide awake; but owls can’t see very well in the daytime, and he was taking a nap. He opened his great eyes, and ruffled up his feathers, and said, “Whoo! Whoo!’ ‘Never mind who,’ Fred said, and slipped him into a bag.”

“What are you going to do with him, Harry?”

“Let him go. He doesn’t like this cage half so well as his old oak tree. A young owl can be tamed easily, but this one is too old to tame.”

“But won’t he catch all your ducklings and little chickens?”

“No, not while there are any rats or mice around. Father says an owl is a good mouser, and can catch more mice than half a dozen cats.”

“I’m glad I had a look at him before you let him go. What soft feathers he has!”

“Yes, he can fly so softly that you can scarcely hear him, and for this reason he can easily surprise and capture his prey.”

“How comical he looks, winking his big eyes slowly, and turning his head from side to side!”

Yes; he is watching your dog. Be still. Bounce! We have just found out a funny thing about his way of eating. He breaks the bones of a mouse, and then swallows it whole. After an hour or two, he throws up the bones and fur rolled up in a little ball.”

Discussion and Comprehension Questions

  1. Would you prefer an owl or a dog as a pet? Why? Discuss.
  2. Draw a picture of an owl and write words from the passage that describe owls.