Last weekend, we met extended family in the mountains of Tennessee for our annual Family Reunion Campout. The group included a grandmother, thirteen (grown) kids and spouses, twenty-four grandkids and three spouses, five great-grandchildren, two friends, and — a beaver!
For many years, we didn’t see much wildlife around the campground, but within the last five or so, we’ve seen quite a lot. We’ve come upon a rattlesnake, a deer, hatchling turtles, and this year, a beaver! It was swimming above the water in the river when someone spotted it, and we all ran over to the bridge to see. You might have thought that with so many people there it would go under and disappear, but it didn’t; it just kept going along against the current until it was so far upriver we couldn’t see it anymore.
Now, what’s a homeschooler to do with an event like that? Why, make a lesson from it, of course! And while you may not have seen a beaver recently, you may still have a young beaver fan at your house. If so, here are some resources to check out:
Beaver Unit Study – based on the book Paddy the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess.
Beavers – Wetlands & Wildlife – This website was created by the friends and associates of conservationist Dorothy Richards to continue her efforts to educate others about beavers. Lots of interesting information here.
“Beavers” – More beaver facts in this National Geographic article.
“Beaver Family” – National geographic video featuring a beaver family through the seasons.
“How Beavers Build a Lodge” – This BBC YouTube video shows amazing footage of beavers building their home.
- Beavers by Helen H. Moore
- Building Beavers by Kathleen Martin-James
- Beavers: Where Waters Run (Northword Wildlife Series) by Paul I. V. Strong
- The Adventures of Buddy the Beaver: Buddy Explores the Pond by Carson Clark and Jim Clark
- Beaver – The Life Cycle by Bobbie Kalman
- Beavers (Kids Can Press Wildlife Series) by Deborah Hodge and Pat Stephens
With so many resources, it’s time to get busy — like a beaver!!
Photo by Carlson