Inside Preparation Work:
- Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 224-228 (Lesson 55). Additional information for more advanced students can be found at: Animal Diversity Web. Note: The Handbook of Nature Study includes quite a bit of information on trapping mice-this may not be appropriate in every family.
- Listen to Burgess Book of Animals Chapter 15-Deer Mouse and Field Mouse or Chapter 18-Pocket Mouse and House Mouse.
- Optional Online Listening (or MP3 download or PDF): Thorton Burgess’ Whitefoot the Woodmouse.
Outdoor Hour Time:
- This is one of those challenges that is hard to plan ahead of time for direct observation of the topic. If you have access to a real mouse to observe, use the suggestions for the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study.
- If you don’t have access to a mouse, use your outdoor time to observe any mammal and compare it using information you know about a mouse: teeth, feet, tail, color, size, behavior, diet.
- Remember: You are always successful in the Outdoor Hour Challenge if you take time to be outside with your children for a few minutes each week. You can use your outdoor time this week to sit on a blanket in the shade, read about mice, and then make a few notes in your nature journal. Snacks are always welcome during the Outdoor Hour Challenge as well and you can see OHC Challenge #10 for more ideas for a nature study/picnic activity.
- Complete a nature journal entry with any information you learned from your mouse study. You can sketch any signs of mice that you observed in your yard like tracks, scat, or a mouse hole. You can also click this link, click and print the image of the house mouse to include in your notebook: Nature.CA—House Mouse or you can color the page for the Whitefooted Mouse in this ebook.
- If you observed any other mammal and would like to follow-up with more nature study, you can check the list of previous mammal Outdoor Hour Challenges for more information using the Handbook of Nature Study. You may wish to use the free Mammal Notebook Page available on my blog.
- Advanced Study: Research the Rodentia order and the Muridae family. Record your results in your nature journal.
- Optional activity: You may wish to complete an Owl Pellet dissection as part of this study. Many times the owl pellets include mouse bones that your child can identify as part of this study. Please see my Outdoor Hour Challenge for Owls for more information (Summer Nature Study 2010 ebook). You can see our family’s owl dissection here with a good look at the mouse bones: Raptors of the Night.
- Sources for owl pellets: Home Science Tools or Acorn Naturalists
More Helpful Links:
Owl Pellet Bone Chart (free printable)
All the summer challenges for 2012 are included in the new More Nature Study Book #4 Summer Sizzle ebook. The challenges in the ebook are the same challenges that will post every Friday here on my blog. If you want to follow along with notebook pages and coloring pages, click over and learn more about the ebook.