Cam in the Classroom: Owl Poetry

We love hearing how creative teachers are using the Critter Cam and other Wildlife Center information in their classrooms.

Since Mrs. Matheson's fifth-grade class adopted Misty and Gus [two of the Wildlife Center's education Barred Owls], there have been many lesson plans that are centered around the owls. Mrs. Matheson has taken the Wildlife Center's education animal ambassadors' role to a new level by incorporating them into writing assignments, math lessons and quizzes, science lessons, and more.

One of the subjects Mrs. Matheson's students studied this fall was poetry. For their "focus on genre poetry", Mrs. Matheson taught her class about different styles of poetry:  rhyming, haiku, diamante, cinquain, limerick, free verse, and how-to. At least one poem from each student was to be an owl poem -- either about Misty, Gus, or another owl. Here's what they came up with!

Click on each owl poem below for an enlarged photo.


These rhyming poems are all quatrains -- four lines of verse.  



These three-lined Japanese poems follow the  5-7-5 syllable pattern.



Diamantes are descriptive, diamond-shaped poems. They can be synonyms (describing one topic) or antonyms (showing the difference between two different things).



These five-lined poems have a 2-4-6-8-2 syllable pattern.



These humorous five-lined poems rhyme.


Free Verse



A "how-to" poem appears in a list-form to display learned facts.

How to be a Barred Owl

-make sure when you’re born, look at your eyes and see if they are dark.

-when you’re little, have your mom call you owlet.

-if you are tired of making your nest, just go get one from the barn owl store.

-if you want people to notice you, just hoot these hoots: “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all.”

-if you want a great diet, eat songbirds and small mammals or just go to the Wildlife Center of Virginia and get a roommate named Misty or Gus.

-And remember to stay away from great horned owls, like Papa G’ho – he likes to eat barred owls.


How to be a Barred Owl

-we eat all day

-steal our nets.

-live anywhere there’s old trees.

-live up to 10-15 years.

-chatter all day.

-have 38-45 inch wingspan.

-be medium sized

-have dark eyes, not yellow ones.

-lay 2-3 white eggs.

-call my babies owlets.

-fledge at 12-15 weeks if an owlet.

-bye-bye my little owlets.


How to be a Barred Owl

- be called rainstorm owl because you hunt before storms.

- hunt for mammals, songbirds and amphibians for your dinner.

- hang out in old woods and swamps

- live to be 10 to 15 years old

- have a wingspan of 38-45 inches.

- be adopted by a 5th grade class and become famous.

Opposing Voices

This poem was written by Mrs. Matheson's entire class -- and is entitled "Gustavo and a Mouse".

It's really meant to be performed out loud ... so check out the Gustavo and a Mouse poem, and then watch our "friends" perform this poem!