I got a box of books from a friend a long while ago. They were placed on the bookshelf along side the rest. Almost a year later Eli finds a book about Ben Franklin and the Magic Square. After several readings of the book, Eli decided that he loved magic squares. He also decided that he would like to create things and put all his ideas in a book. His first invention - a house for a squirrel and chipmunk to live in. Please remember he's five.
He went to bed and momma started the research on squirrels and chipmunks.
I printed out pictures for him to color. Not cartoony pictures, but somewhat realistic ones. I found a section in the Handbook of Nature Study on both mammals. I printed out some of the referenced readings from archive.org. I was able to find Bannertail; the story of the gray squirrel on Amazon, but it was a bit pricey for me. Sorry, Amazon. Archive.org had it for free. I like free. I had to copy and paste the text into a Word document and then do some editing so it wasn't on several pages.
I also used edhelper.com's squirrel theme unit. Edhelper charges about $20 a year, but it's totally worth it. I can create word searches and math sheets and find complete themed activities in one place. I like having things in one place for easy access. Makes life a bit easier sometimes.
Unfortunately, our yard is void of squirrels. Darn cats either scare away or eat everything around. Field trip! Well, we'll go visit grammy and papa and rodent watch this week.
I know Eli will draw his plans for his habitat. He's a diagram kid.
Then, we'll follow it all up with building the squirrel and chipmunk house. I have no idea if anything but earwigs will actually live in it, but we'll see. It's all a learning experience...