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The Barn Owl Trust

Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment

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Literacy education materials

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The Wings of Change story provides plenty of opportunities to develop literacy ideas within the curriculum. Here are just a few ....

  • Speaking and listening

Discuss the Wings of change dvd or story. Here are some possible questions:

“What happened to the barn owls?”


“Why did the farmer need to 'grub up' the hedges?”

“What do you think about what the
- farmer had to do?”
- the barn owls had to do?”

“What do you think you would do
- if you were the farmer?”
- if you were the bank manager?”

Compare different forms of communication. What communication works well to promote the cause of Barn Owls and why? (Think about the DVD, leaflets, posters, stories, letters). Discuss which forms of communication might work better than others and why.

  • Drama/Role Play

Pupils create a role play adopting different characters from the Wings of Change story. Characters are interviewed by a news reporter to put forward their point of view about things happening within the story. E.g. a farmer being interviewed about a road being built across his land, or a Barn Owl conservationist being interviewed about the loss of Barn Owl habitat. Film the interviews on video/dvd.

  • Writing

Write a script for an interview between a news reporter and one of the characters from the Wings of Change story. Think about persuasive language and the different styles of language used for the different characters.

Fiction/non-fiction. Look at the features of non-fiction text compared with fiction text (refer to the Barn Owl Trust further reading page for suitable texts). Notice the different layout, style, captions, headings, points of view, persuasive language. Write a non-fiction piece about a Barn Owl and also a fiction piece. Think about the different style of writing and the audience (the people who will be reading your text).

Persuasive text. Imagine you are the farmer. Write a letter to the road builders explaining why you don’t want a road built across your land. Think about persuasive texts - petitions, posters, support from public figures.

Imagine you are a holidaymaker stuck in a traffic jam on a small road. Write a letter to the road builders explaining why you would like the road to be made bigger and why.

What happens next? Write an alternative ending to the Wings of Change story. Younger pupils can use the Wings of Change picture prompts and/or word mats to help them.

Writing styles. Think about different styles of writing. Write a descriptive text about the Barn Owl and write a factual text. Compare information texts, persuasive text, fiction and non-fiction texts (See reading list).

Summarising. Read the Wings of Change story and write a summary.

Fiction text. Read Owl Babies by M Waddell and P Benson. A story about three owls waiting for their mother to come home. Imagine anthropomorphic owls! If they talked and thought like humans, what could they tell us? What would they do?

Poetry. Write a poem about the Barn Owl. See an example on the Barn Owl Trust website http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/infopage.html?Id=187

Word search. Look for Barn Owl related words. Go to http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/infopage.html?Id=221

The Barn Owl Trust is dedicated to conservation & education and does not operate a visitor centre.
Barn Owl Trust staff and volunteers
Waterleat, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7HU
+44 (0) 1364 653026