Guest Author - Alissa Moy
The latest Zhu Zhu Pet craze has taken over! Use your homeschoolers interest in these cute holiday toys to learn about hamsters. Turn this super holiday gift into a fantastic unit study your homeschooler will love!
Hamsters are real and beloved animals to many. While the Zhu Zhu Pet is a pretend version of this rodent, there are still many interesting things to learn about the hamster. Create a mini book about hamsters with your homeschooler. Put each of the facts below on alternating pages, and have your child draw and color a corresponding picture.
1.Hamsters are mammals, and they belong to the rodent family.
2.They have big incisor teeth that always are growing, making them gnaw alot.
3.There are various species of hamsters throughout the world and most hamsters inhabit semi-desert areas where they live in burrows, or tunnels & chambers. 4.Hamsters are nocturnal, sleeping during the days and waking at night.
5.They have poor eyesight but a good sense of smell and excellent hearing.
6.Most species of hamsters have pouches in their cheeks which expand so they can carry food and bedding back to their burrow.
7.The hamster is the most popular of the small rodents as pets kept around the world.
After completing your mini fact book take some time to visit Petsmart's website for information on various species of pet hamsters. Print out or read and summarize the four types of hamsters on the Petsmart web page. Add this information to your mini book, or create a new species book. Older students will enjoy further research on these critter species, via an online or library encyclopedia.
Find additional fun in this unit study by viewing and possibly touching these fun and furry friends. Visit your local pet store and tour their hamster area. Most employees will be happy to give your child time to visit with the pets, as well as answer their questions about them. Remember, Petco offers a free field trip through the Field Trip Factory site, so consider booking one today. You can gather together a group of homeschool pals and all explore these charming rodents together! If you cannot find time to visit your local pet store, visit Animal Planet online for some adorable hamster video clips. The antics in these clips will surely put a smile on your face.
Incorporate reading by using a Whole Language approach. By using the unit study on hamsters in your daily subjects you can integrate learning for your homeschooler. An adorable book series for students ages 8-12 is "Humphrey". This plucky hamster is a prized classroom pet, who gets into one adventure after another. Beginning with "The World According to Humphrey", this series has five total books for your child's enjoyment. The author, Betty G. Birney, has a wonderful website titled "Humphreyville" with games, quizzes, puzzles and teacher guides for every book! The free pdf guides are perfect for comprehension skills and homeschool discussion.
Don't forget to touch on the idea of personification with your homeschooler, as it relates to Humphrey the hamster. Using your current curriculum, enlist your child in the task of finding examples of personification in not only the book, but also in other forms of media. There is an amazing literary poster/print that explains personification, as well as several terms of literature. This is an investment in a resource for your homeschool classroom.
Math problems involving hamsters and Zhu Zhu pets will entice any homeschooler to complete their work! Look for a math worksheet on the Homeschooling site here at Bella with problems you can use at home! Happy 'hamsterdays"!