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.
|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.
- Squirrel Unit and Lapbook at Homeschool Share (that's where we got most of the pictures you see on the pages, and most of the mini-books).
- Various readings at Main Lesson (we read The Flying Squirrel, and Mr Red Squirrel Comes to the Forest from Among the Forest People)
- Various books from the library (I didn't keep a list unfortunately).
- Quite a few of the illustrations and descriptions came from a PDF file which unfortunately I didn't save the link to, but it was similar to this Cornell leaflet (pdf).
- Jimmie Lanley's Squirrel Nature Study hub.
- I also printed out this article for Paddy's notebook -- Shadow Tails It has cute illustrations and appealing text, and Paddy learned a lot. He even did a quiz narration where he asked me questions taken from the book.
- Thornton Burgess and Beatrix Potter both have charming squirrel stories but Paddy has already read and reread these. If you haven't, though, check out Adventure of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, and the squirrel section of Burgess's Animal Book, which introduces a bit of taxonomy.
Squirrel Classification, a narration Paddy dictated, "Terrific Tails" (from HomeschoolShare)
|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.
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
- Chipmunk and Squirrel Nature Study at Hodgepodge
- Animal Mini-Study -- Squirrels at Eclectic Education
- Squirrel Outdoor Project at Handbook of Nature Study
- There is a copybook sampler (pdf) from Classical Writing which contains some activity pages and copywork for Squirrel Nutkin.
|One of the flying squirrel juveniles that make themselves at home in our house almost every spring|