Geometry (angles): Rotating Head

1 - Learning Objective

Challenge level ⭐

(designed for children with prior knowledge of the Year 3 programme of study)

Learning Objective

We are learning how to solve a natural world problem by using and applying our skills and knowledge of geometry, turns and angles.

Useful prior knowledge:

  • To identify right angles
  • To identify quarter, half, three-quarter and full turns
  • To be familiar with the 4 cardinal points on a compass

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Credit: BBC Two - Springwatch

Clip Description

Owls are birds of prey. This means that they must feed on other animals to survive. They are expert hunters and have incredible eyesight and hearing. It is said that a barn owl can hear a mouse’s heartbeat over 7 m away!

In this fascinating clip, a short-eared owl can be seen both in flight and on the ground. There are several moments where the owl rotates (turns) its head. Unlike a human, an owl cannot move its eyeballs inside its eye sockets. However, it can rotate its head an incredible three-quarters of a full turn. This is the same as turning through 3 right-angles. How many right-angles can you turn your head through? Do you think this is the same for all humans?

Quick Whiteboard Challenge

At the beginning of the clip (0:10 seconds), we see the short-eared owl rotate its head. After watching this part of the film clip for a second time, see if you can describe the size of the angle through which it rotated its head.