Owl at Home: Literature Unit Study Ideas

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 dowload 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.

I love, love, love the Arnold Lobel books. When my kids were young, we spent time with Frog and Toad, Uncle Elephant, and the witty mouse in Mouse Soup. Owl is another of Lobel’s characters, and Owl at Home is a story you want to read while curled up in a soft chair with a cup of warm cocoa.

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Book Information

Title Owl at Home

Author- Arnold Lobel

Recommended ages- preschool- early elementary

Synopsis- Owl at Home is an early reader chapter book with five short chapters. Owl lives in a house with an upstairs and a downstairs. Throughout the five chapters of the book, Owl has several gentle adventures in his house. Owl’s story, like the other Arnold Lobel stories, is gentle. It’s simple enough for young readers to read and understand. But the writing definitely isn’t flat or boring. Owl lets the winter in as his guest, runs away from strange lumps in his bed, makes tear-water tea, thinks about the upstairs and downstairs of his house, and goes out to view the moon.

Language Arts

Character analysis- Owl is a fun character who does some funny things. Use the character analysis sheet in the free pack linked above to talk about Owl as you read through the chapters.

Prediction- In chapter one, Owl keeps going to the door to see who is outside. Have kids make predictions about the visitor at Owl’s door.

Drama- All of the chapters from Owl at Home contain stories that would be fun to act out. Get creative. If you have multiple kids, let them take turns acting out parts of the stories.

Reading comprehension- Ask kids questions throughout the “Strange Bumps” chapter. How soon can they figure out what the strange bumps were? Younger kids might not figure it out without help.

Creative writing- Have kids think of something that made them afraid like the strange bumps in Owl’s story. Have them write and illustrate a story about it. Little ones can dictate a story that you write and then draw an illustration.

Real vs. Fiction- In these stories, Owl is a fictional character. After you’ve had a chance to watch the video about owls linked below, create a Venn diagram to talk about the similarities and differences between the character of Owl and real owls. You can get a Venn diagram in the free Graphic Organizers for Reading pack that I linked above.

Science and Math

Seasons- In chapter one, Owl invites winter into the house. Read about winter from the Weather Wiz Kids site. (You can choose how much to read based on the ages of your kids.)

Seasons- Watch this video to see how snow forms.

The Moon- In the last chapter, Owl goes out to look at the moon. This page from Science Kids has some facts about the moon.

The Moon- Print a picture of the moon here and record some facts that you learn about the moon. Older kids can write their own facts while younger kids can dictate them to you.

The Moon- You can learn more about the moon here and find some cool pictures and a video about the moon.

The Moon- Read The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons (on the booklist below). Then enjoy a snack while you create the phases of the moon with Oreo cookies.

Owls- Watch this video to learn about owls.

History/Social Studies

Feelings- Owl experiences many different feelings throughout his adventures. After each story, talk to the kids about how Owl feels in that story.

Feelings- Owl thought of sad things on purpose to make tear-water tea. Ask the kids if they think those things were sad. What things would they think about to make tear-water tea?

Crafts and Fun

Let the kids have some “winter” fun and make this fake snow.

Make this snowy owl torn paper collage when you read chapter one and talk about winter.

After reading the book, choose one of these crafts and make your own version of Owl.

One very interesting way to learn about owls is to dissect owl pellets. If you’re not sure what an owl pellet is, you can check it out here. Suffice it to say that some of you will “Yuck!” and some of you will “Oooh, cool!”. We’ve dissected them and really enjoyed the learning. (Although one child who shall remain nameless refused to touch anything.)


Find other great Arnold Lobel books here.

Owl Babies (owls)

Owls (owls)

Owls (Kids Can Press Wildlife Series) (owls)

Owls (Nocturnal Animals) (owls)

The Moon Book (moon)

The Moon Seems to Change (moon)

Snow (snow)

The Story of Snow (snow)

Snow (snow)

Curious About Snow (snow)

Other Resources

Lapbook Lessons has a free owl lapbook.

This is a link to a free PDF I found of the entire book, including pictures.

Don’t forget to check out the other literature units in this series.


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