Friday, March 22, 2013

An Ongoing Squirrel Study

 Paddy and I decided that the bulk of his science this year would be a study of various animals, with occasional excursions into physical science as topics came up.      He is at the age where he loves little living things.     While we read about all kinds of animals as interest dictates, he is absorbing ideas about habitat, classification, defenses, seasonal adaptations, and other basic principles of elementary biology.     This is how his siblings built up a foundation for college-level science which included not just organized information but also delight in observation and respect for living things and their way. 

Since we live in the National Forest in the California mountains, squirrels are a constant factor in our lives.   This winter, we were putting out squirrel food for our two Douglas foster-squirrels, because they were late babies, and since their mother was evidently no longer around, we were afraid that they would not have enough stored food available for the winter.

So we put out seeds all through the winter, and over time have attracted quite a crew of various squirrel species -- the large and reserved Grey Squirrel, the small sharp Douglas or chickaree, and recently, a ground squirrel, who fills his cheek pockets to an immense capacity, and then disappears for a few minutes and reappears again to repeat the process.   That squirrel owes us.  I picture his pantry stuffed with all kinds of good things. 

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A ground squirrel imitating a vacuum cleaner

As we watch our feeder and its frequenters, we are also studying squirrels in casual bits and pieces.   We borrow all the picture books we can find on the topic from the library.  And I made a couple of notebook/mini-book pages which Paddy and I browse through every once in a while.


Our Notebook Pages:

Page 1:  
 Squirrel Classification, a narration Paddy dictated, "Terrific Tails" (from HomeschoolShare)

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Page 1
Part of Paddy's narration (I used pictures from notebook pages at HomeschoolShare)

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This is a narration Paddy dictated
Page 2:  Types of Squirrels

Descriptions and illustrations of various squirrel types, and a Venn diagram from HomeschoolShare that we haven't filled out yet. 

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Page 2

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Grey Squirrel
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Red Squirrel

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Flying Squirrel

Thought you might like seeing a glimpse of a fun part of our homeschooling, since all the posts recently have been on sort of heavy topics!

Links to more squirrel unit studies/lapbooks

One of the flying squirrel juveniles that make themselves at home in our house almost every spring

1 comment:

  1. That is soo awesome! How much time are you having to spend on pre-prep?
    one OOP excellent squirrel book we have read Summer of Little Rain- Aileen Fisher.


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