|Sorry, its sideways!|
The Busy Little Squirrel written by Nancy Tafuri is simple in its content and wording. The storyline~ an adorably drawn squirrel that is busy preparing and collecting for winter. He can not stop and play with friends, despite their offers for fun, because he must store up food and make warm his nest.
I really like the value that this story portrays of preparation. We must work in order to rest. It is a good lesson for our children, one that we can find numerous ways to reiterate during the daylight hours!
At the end of the book the sweet squirrel is plum tuckered out in his nest sleeping soundly and safely, just as our hardworking and hard playing children are nestled in their beds each night.
Pre-K Unit Study Idea:
One of the activities that I created to go along side Tafuri's book is a lesson on observation and data collection. It is simple. And, to extend this lesson I would suggest doing this once each season and then comparing the results. Do we see more activity from the Squirrel in the fall or the winter?
We created a chart, came up with our own keys for potential activities and set the time for observations. For one week we look out of our window, front door, or porch (depending on how cold it is here!) and observe the squirrels behaviors. I had my son come up with his hypothesis' on potential behaviors. He listed eating, sleeping in his nest, playing, running across the street, foraging, and visiting his grandpa! We narrowed it down to eating, foraging, playing, and sleeping. (But, I did full-heartily agree that squirrels do indeed visit their grandparents!) Each morning, afternoon and evening for one week we observe and then report on our chart. At the end of the week we turn the chart into a graph and my son gives a verbal account of the squirrels behavior to his Daddy.
This activity takes only moments a day and teaches reading, science, reasoning, and mathematics skills. Plus, it is a wonderful way to participate with nature as the weather turns colder.