A gopher study: an activity for children of all ages. Notebooking allows one the opportunity to be able to better study, understand, and identify the type of animal, in this instance, an animal that may be destroying your garden. To further learn about gophers, make sure to read the lesson prior to this activity.
- gardening notebook
- pen or pencil
- art medium of your choice (colored pencils, watercolors, etc.)
- Draw a gopher and label each part. For an older child, have them investigate the function or role of each part. For example, a gopher uses his sharp teeth, always exposed, to dig and quickly cut roots to eat or cut electrical wire that gets in his way as he digs. His lips are adapted to close behind these large teeth to keep the dirt out, while still allowing him to use his teeth. His short, thick, and almost hairless tail can be used as a sensor probe when he has to back up in a tunnel. Ask the kids questions such as: What is the purpose of a gopher’s large front claws? His whiskers and his bulging cheeks? Why is his fur brown? Consider having them use an encyclopedia or reading this article for more information.
- If your child is younger, you can have them tell you about the functions or role of as many parts of the gopher as they are able. (Document this information in their garden notebook).
- Feel free to add poems, methods to keep gophers from destroying your garden, or quotes about the gopher to your garden notebook or journal as well.