The other day, as my husband was heading out the door, he had an unusual surprise awaiting him. Right behind the car was a huge black snake. We didn’t take out a measuring tape, but I would estimate the snake was at least four to five feet long. Our dog began barking at it, and the snake curled up in a strike position. Of course, for a homeschooling family, these events naturally evolve into several days of studying snakes.
What We Learned
There are two species of black snakes in our state: Black Rat Snakes and Black Racers. They are both non-venomous, and both live either in woods, in fields, or around buildings. However, the snakes differ in how they react to people. The black rat snake will remain stationary or begin to move away slowly. The black racer will, well, race. It will disappear from sight as quickly as it can. Ours was a black rat snake; as soon as we picked up the dog, the snake started leaving slowly.
Expanding the Study
There are lots of resources both online and in books about snakes. If your child is interested in a particular kinds of snake, take advantage of that enthusiasm. Search the internet together for informative websites, and make a trip to your local library. Here are a few resources to get you started:
Websites about Snakes:
- National Geographic – Snake Pictures
- National Geographic Kids – Rattlesnake Rustlers
- Kidzone – Snake Facts
- Idaho Public Television – Snake Facts
- DLTK – Snake Crafts
- Danielle’s Place – Snake Crafts
- Artists Helping Children – Snake Crafts
- Best Coloring Pages for Kids – Snake Coloring Pages
Books about Snakes:
- The Best Book of Snakes by Christiane Gunzi
- Everything You Need to Know About Snakes by DK Publishing
- National Geographic Readers: Snakes! By Melissa Stewart
- Snakes by Gail Gibbons
- Snakes of the World Coloring Book by Dover
What are some things you and your children have learned about snakes recently?