Literature Unit Study for Owl Moon by Jane Yolen- And FREE Printables!

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you’d like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you’re reading and working on your unit study, you can download this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Owl Moon Unit Study

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Owl Moon is a beautiful story that celebrates the beauty of nature and the relationship between a girl and her father. The watercolor illustrations in the book add to the beauty of the story. You’ll want to read it aloud and share the pictures with the kids. It’s also a great book to use a springboard for a study of owls.

Book Information

Title- Owl Moon
Author- Jane Yolen

Recommended ages- PreK-2nd grade

Synopsis- A young girl is going owling with her father for the first time.As the two make their way quietly through the woods, readers get a glimpse of the beauty of nature around them. But the story is also about a special event shared between a father and daughter.

Language Arts

Repetition- Repetition is a device that author’s use to emphasize a point. Children enjoy repetition in a story because it makes the story familiar. In Owl Moon, the little girl uses the phrase “When you go owling” several times. Have kids listen for those words or look for the words on the page- for kids who are readers. On this printable, have kids write- or dictate to you- what the narrator says each time about “when you go owling.”
Adjectives– This story has some great descriptive words. Have kids tell you some of the words that describe. List them out on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. Talk about how adjectives are words that describe.
Fiction vs. nonfiction– Although this picture book is a fictional story, it’s a story that could be true. It’s about real people doing something realistic, unlike a fairytale or story where animals talk. Talk to kids about the difference between fact and fiction. Have them tell you elements of this story that could really happen. Read some of the other books about owls off of the booklist. Talk about whether they are fact or fiction.
Onomatopoeia- Although the word itself might be too big for little kids, you can explain the concept of words that sound like their name. In this story, the hooting of the owl- Whoooo- is a good example. Show kids how the word is written out in the book. Talk about other examples of this literary device. You can find some here.
Drawing conclusions– Talk to kids about how they think the narrator feels about going owling for the first time. What are some clues in the story that help them to draw these conclusions?
Creative writing- Have kids write- or dictate- a story about the first time they had the opportunity to do something they had been waiting to do for a long time.

Learning About Owls

Record owl facts- As kids are learning about owls, they can record facts on these notebooking pages.

Easy Science for Kids has a great owl information page that includes cool pictures and a slow motion video of a barn owl.
The owls that the narrator and her father were looking for were Great Horned Owls. Learn more about them from the National Geographic Kids site.
Geography- Print a blank world map here. Color in the area where Great Horned Owls can be found. (You can see a map on the National Geographic Kids site.)
Dissecting owl pellets is a fun- albeit gross- way to learn more about owls and what they eat. Although one of my girls- who shall remain nameless- wouldn’t touch it, most of us enjoyed this activity. Find a kit with three owl pellets here.

Crafts and Fun

The illustrations in Owl Moon are beautiful watercolors. Have kids use watercolors to paint a scene like one in the book.

Follow these instructions to make a barn owl finger puppet.
Find a variety of owl coloring pages here. (Maybe kids could use watercolors to paint some.)
This owl babies craft is adorable (and would go perfectly with the Owl Babies book on the booklist.)
I love the tear art owls on this page!
Need a cute and yummy owl-themed snack while you’re working?

Owl Moon Unit Study

Owls (Animal Predators)

Other Resources

Iman’s Home-School has a very nice free printable owl notebooking pack that looks as if it would be good for 2nd-4th grades. (When you click on the download it opens as a zip file in google drive. Download the file and then you can open the individual PDF pages.)

Lapbook Lessons has a free owl lapbook.

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook for Owl Babies. It has some information specific to that book- which is in the booklist above- and some general information about owls.


Don’t miss the other literature units in this series!

Literature unit studies for kids

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