Grey Squirrel
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Red Squirrel

For Parents/Educators you are very welcome to download any or all of our Grade K-5 Thematic Units
and/or Lesson Plans for use in your homes, homeschool, classroom or community centres.  These
pages feature activities, teaching resources, poetry, songs and rhymes as well as fun educational
printables for various age groups...

National Squirrel Appreciation Day is held on January 21

THE SQUIRREL
In the joy of his nature he frisks with a bound
To the topmost twigs, and then to the ground;
Then up again, like a winged thing,
And from tree to tree with a vaulting spring;
Then he sits up aloft, and looks waggish and queer,
As if he would say, “Ay, follow me here?”
And then he grows pettish, and stamps his foot;
And then independently cracks his nut.   
                                ~MARY HOWITE


THE GREY SQUIRREL  

This handsome, nimble, little fellow is perhaps the most interesting member of the large family of
rodents.

In studying an animal, its manner of life in its native haunts should be the first thing observed. Ask
questions to guide children in their outdoor study.
•        When and where did you see the squirrel? Describe his movements.
•        How does he run up a tree?
•        How does he come down?   
•        What does he eat?
•        How does he carry his food?
•        Where does he live? Describe his nest.
•        When running, in what position does he carry his tail?
•        Do you know the sound a squirrel makes? Can you make the same sound?

If you are not situated in a position where it is possible to study the squirrels in their own natural
environment procure one alive in a revolving cage for study in the school-room, or alternatively watch a
video documentary on squirrels in their natural habitat.

Children should watch the squirrels and find out his way of eating, drinking, and bathing. Notice his
teeth. In the front of his mouth he has four long, chisel shaped teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the
lower. For grinding he has strong, broad back teeth.

  • How does he hold the nut?
  • How does he eat it?
  • He seems to like fruit, grain, buds, and cones as well as nuts. Observe the squirrel when asleep.

Ask children to:
Compare the grey squirrel to the domestic cat.
Compare the grey squirrel to the
red squirrel.

The squirrel’s body  The long slender body is covered with two coats of soft fur. The coat next to the
body is very compact and warm; the hair on the outer coat is long and it determines the colour.

The grey squirrel is variable in colour, ranging from very light   grey to black. He has bright, round eyes,
ears of medium size, and very long whiskers. The hind legs are longer than the front ones. The fore
paws are each provided with four toes and a thumb, while the hind paws have five toes each. The long
bushy tail is used as a rudder in jumping and it also serves to keep the body warm during the winter.

Point out to the children that the squirrel often hides food under leaves, bark, or other objects in the cage.

Habits when his natural environment:  The squirrel selects a deep hollow in a decayed tree, lines it
with moss and leaves, and sleeps there securely the greater part of the time in winter. He stores his
food in
autumn; sometimes hiding it in old trees near his home and sometimes burying a portion in the
earth; occasionally he wakes up during the winter and runs out and finds something to eat.

DID YOU KNOW?
The squirrel’s teeth continue to grow as long as he lives and he must keep them worn down by
gnawing.


Squirrel Printables and Activities



  • This PDF lesson plan is designed to be used with the film, Nutkin's Last Stand, which shows the
    systematic effort by groups in Great Britain to exterminate North American grey squirrels, which
    were brought to Great Britain from the United States and are believed by many to be spreading a
    virus that threatens the native red squirrel population.
  • Squirrel Interactive Jigsaw Puzzles



730 crafts, activities and
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Comprehension & Unit Study
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162 page Activity book which
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Squirrels, Comprehensive Unit
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