Introduce your students or children to the wonders of the sagebrush ecosystem through Rockie's Sagebrush Adventures! This illustrated book follows a Burrowing Owl and her friends as they discover what life in the sagebrush is all about.
You can download this book for free, watch a narrated version, or order print copies for $5 per copy. Wyoming educators can order print copies for free thanks to the Shirley Basin Sage-Grouse Working Group.
Crank up everyone’s imagination with this activity for kids ages 5 and up. Younger children can dictate their own stories, while older ones can write and illustrate theirs. You’ll need writing paper, drawing paper, pencils for writing, and colored pencils or crayons for drawing.
1. Start by reading Rockie’s Sagebrush Adventures together. This illustrated book tells the story of a young Burrowing Owl born in the sagebrush ecosystem of the western United States. There’s lots of information here about Burrowing Owls, this unique habitat, and the other animals that live there.
2. Suggest that your child or children create their own book about what happens when a kid like them meets an owl in their own neighborhood. The story will take place nearby, in your own yard, street, park, or familiar place nearby. Imagining an owl doing owlish and surprising things in familiar places will add a lot of fun to the storytelling.
3. Here are some story starters to help get the creative juices flowing. You may choose to use one of these or make up your own. Encourage children to carry on once they get a story going.
- One day just as the sun was going down, I looked outside and saw an owl land on ___________. It was ___________ and ___________.
- My friend and I were out for a walk at night when an owl ___________________. We were so ____________! Then, ___________________.
- A _____________ owl was flying silently in front of my _____________ when suddenly ________________.
- An owl came to my window. I said, ____________________________.
4. Continue with the story until the end, with you taking dictation or kids writing it themselves, depending on age and skills.
5. Once the story is finished, it’s time for illustrations. Let children draw as many pictures for their story as they wish. Finally, ask them to give their story a title and make a cover to make it a book.
6. Put the pages together and share the book with friends and family. Send a photo of your finished book to firstname.lastname@example.org, and post it on Twitter using the hashtag #kidsart and tagging @audubonsociety.
Bonus: To keep the fun going, children can write and illustrate stories about other birds and other animals they see in their neighborhood. They can make a library of animal stories.
Continue reading about Rockie's adventures in the sequel, Rockie's Migration Adventures!
Birds in the Story
Illustration: Eric M. Strong
Order "Rockie's Sagebrush Adventures"
Introduce your students or children to the wonders of the sagebrush ecosystem through the eyes of a Burrowing Owl in this illustrated book.