Week 16! That means that we’re 4 months in. We finished up our fifth unit tonight. Our book with the Moving Beyond the Page curriculum for this round was What do you do with a Tail like This? I love the science, so I enjoyed it. Paul seemed to enjoy it as well.
This week we did some animal research. Paul wouldn’t say exaclty what animal most interested him but he acted like the skunks did. We have one that lives out on the front part of the property. One night when I had to work late during the summer, he and my mom saw/smelled it while he was supposed to be going to sleep. It was right under the bedroom window when I pulled in (so, about 15 feet from the car) but immediately ambled down the steps by the side of the house and was not a threat to me. Paul talked about it all of the time for a few weeks, though I’m not sure what exactly they saw that made it so lasting for him. A few weeks later, we saw one in the road when we came home a little late one night. It didn’t seem to care that we had stopped about 10 feet away from it, which is probably why their carcasses spot the road – unpleasant thought but probably true.
Personally, I like skunks and I don’t find their odor very offensive. When I was in high school and college, I volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation center and the baby skunks were my favorite. They are gentle and cute. They signal when they are getting annoyed by displaying a number of visual cues before they let go their spray including: stomping their feet, turning around, lifting their tail, and standing up on their front feet. Once they start stomping their feet, I leave them alone. I mean, I don’t mind the smell so much but I’ve never been sprayed and I know it can be strong. As a young adult, I wasn’t too keen on walking around smelling like skunk. I’m sure I would have landed lots of dates that way! They are welcome inhabitants of our property now though, we have lots of room to share.
In our school, the curriculum lists an activity that we played but Paul made a serious tweak to it: the game was to play charades by pretending to be an animal and acting out some kind of specialized body part so the other could guess what it was. But Paul turned it into a game of “Skunk vs –“. In this game, he was a killer skunk and sprayed me with his spray and then pretended to eat me. Of course, when I was a lion or something I didn’t let him win, but his skunk did win against some interesting creatures, such as giraffes and anteaters. This is not a new game, the kids have also played “Sea Anemone vs. –“. The anemone wins a lot too. Hey, we are creative, what can I say?
Share your thoughts: What is your favorite wild animal? What is your favorite wild animal’s specialized body part and what does that animal do with it?