This is a wonderful little story of bravery and overcoming challenges. My kids and I loved reading Poppy by Avi. We have read several other books from the Tales of Dimwood Forest series after reading this one. It is a fun series that I would definitely recommend.
I may add more activities to this title as I realize all the ones I have added revolve around the Mr Ocax character. I guess I’m just partial to owls. Poppy and the other critters in this book leave the door open for many other learning opportunities.
Dissect Owl Pellets
This is a super fun activity that we have done a couple of times. It’s especially fun after reading about Poppy and Mr Ocax. I ordered my owl pellets online but sadly I can’t recall from where. (There are many different kit options out there). We received a packet of three owl pellets from different types of owls. The kit came with an informative booklet on owls and their dietary habits, tweezers, little wooden sticks to assist with the dissection as well as a little magnifying glass. This activity can be messy so make sure you put down a cheapo plastic tablecloth or trash bags that can be rolled up and tossed when your done. My kids loved piecing together skeletons and attempting to identify what little critter had been the owl’s main course.
If you aren’t up for the mess or can’t wait until your pellets arrive in the mail, try this virtual dissection.
Observe Owls In the Wild
I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I have owls in my own backyard. How stinkin’ cool is that? If you are lucky too, take a walk outside at dusk with your kids and see if you can spot one of these beautiful creatures.
Be extra quiet and listen for their unmistakable calls. If you don’t happen to have owls roaming your neighborhood, try checking with your county’s conservation department to see if they offer ‘Owl Walks.’ If that option is not viable, you can attempt to observe an owl in captivity by visiting a zoo or bird sanctuary. We visited the World Bird Sanctuary in Eureka, MO a couple of years ago. It was awesome!
And if all else fails, enter the Cornell Lab Bird cams.
This spring they had owl cams for the Great horned owl, Barred owl and Barn owl. It was a fascinating activity to watch the hatching of eggs, feeding of young and finally the leaving of the nest.
Build an Owl Box
This is on my I Really Want To Do This List. It would be a fantastic project to work on with kids. They would learn how to properly use tools, making accurate measurements, shop safety, and of course all about owls and their habitat requirements.