Well we do! Great Horned Owl is starting to raise a new clutch of eggs in the cold month of February. Lucky her male mate is busy feeding her while she incubates. Valentine’s love is being celebrated at this caring time for these magnificent creatures right along with humans.
Roleplay is a great way to take on an animal form and feel the tension of survival especially in winter. Our game included creating a unique 5 beat hoot pattern to communicate, building a stick nest, finding sources of food and preparing to incubate eggs. Here are some guiding questions.
*What does GHO eat?
*What is your specific wing span and how does it compare with GHO?
*How do they defend against predators?
*What happens for GHO’s in December (find a mate), January (find food, nest), February (lay eggs), and March-May (raise hatchlings) - see their nature journal
*When do they hunt and rest?
*Tell me about your experience in this game - who was your mate?
*How many eggs can GHO lay and what determines how many they lay (available food)
This crew was able to lead their way through a scavenger hunt collecting descriptive words and puzzle pieces leading to our critter theme. See if you can help your child recall these words on the image below. Each one can be connected with one part of this incredible bird. Ask for a display of how GHO show their feelings using their ear tufts. Watch out for the attack!!!
For our older children their journal will include a life cycle diagram, information and sketch. Younger children will have a coloured owl outline, egg tracing, and maybe some descriptive words. Encourage adding to this entry through research or taking time to include more detail.
After such an intense beginning to our day, library time was all about LOVE and CARING. Chat about the buddy bench story to see if the message of inclusion shone through. Mrs Eastman had a great weaving activity which really taught us about listening, observing, patience, and sharing skills. Thanks to Elk and others who turned to a neighbour to demonstrate. We also have an experiment (check backpacks) that Mrs Eastman says will grow diamond crystals - thank you so much for all this preparation for our amazing library experience!
Valentine's Day lovey stuff is not only for humans, wild animals of different species also show caring and help each other. We found pictures and worked together to figure out who these heart matches were. See what your child can tell you about why and how these animals are connected.
Our day ended with loose time and so much fun. How far can you throw a snowball (seems like Eagle holds the record), creative snow sculpture, slush walking, and a final human pyramid. My shoulders are a bit sore, but it was all worth it. The end to a perfect day of learning and connecting together.
Thanks Raccoon for capturing our moments, and to Dragonfly & Tamarack for being part of the parliament of owls needed to make this day possible. Fly free until next week Forest Friends.
Hug lots of trees on Valentine's Day:)