I chose Owl Moon as our theme book for this month's FIAR activity group to read. We went to the WNC Nature Center with our Five in A Row special needs group to learn about owls. We had a wonderful class hosted by Timothy's boss, Keith. He did a great job of including all of the children regardless of their special needs. He even communicated with one child in sign language. I was very impressed.
We learned all about raptor birds. The kids were really engaged in the learning process and asked lots of great questions. There were lots of hands-on things to touch, including eggs, feathers and nests. The highlight was getting to meet a real live owl.
The kids learned all the body parts of owls, their habits, how they fly and how they hunt. Then they played a game based off of "rock, paper, scissors" to learn about the owl's food chain. We all started out as acorns and went around saying, "I'm a nut" until we met another nut. Then we would play "rock, paper, scissors" and the winner would become a mouse. We went around and around until everyone made it to a predator that could eat an owl. Did you know that crows will dive bomb an owl while it is sleeping and eat it? Owls and crows are lifelong enemies.
After our class, we had a picnic lunch and toured the rest of the nature center. I did not get many photos, since I was talking to other mothers. However, the otter was very entertaining and I did get a picture of her.
I am glad that our special needs group is starting to take off. It is wonderful to have a "safe" place filled with understanding within the homeschool world for our special needs kids. Even in the homeschool world, it has often been a challenge to "fit in" with the normal homeschool groups because of academic requirements or behavior requirements. This group is working out well and hopefully will provide a well-needed service in our area.