Even though Cork is a short muskrat and Fuzz is a tall possum, they can still be best friends. Or can they? "I am older," Cork said. "I need to be taller. It is a rule." Can friendship break such rules?
Knowledge: Cork's Rule
Cork believes it was a rule that he should be taller than Fuzz
because Cork is older. Is this really a rule, or a mistaken
belief? Did Cork have other mistaken beliefs in this story?
Application: Fuzz's Rule
Cork is a vegetarian. Fuzz says he eats a balanced diet. On the
chalkboard, write down the list of Fuzz's foods from Chapter 1. Discuss
which food group each item might belong to. Does Fuzz really eat a
How is a muskrat's tail different from an opossum's tail?
Is each animal's tail used for a specific purpose?
Make a list of good rules for being a good friend.
Make a list of silly made-up rules for your classroom.
Body/Kinesthetic: Cork's Rule
Cork believes that if a person holds his arms straight out at
his sides, the measurements from finger tips to finger tips will be the
same measurement as that person's height. Do you think this is
true? Measure several students to find out.
Make up a song for Fuzz to the tune of The Twelve Days of
Christmas, beginning each line with the words, "On the first
day of summer, a muskrat gave to me..." Can you remember each
new line of the song without writing them down?
Cork put Fuzz through a lot of trouble in trying to make him
shorter, yet Fuzz still wanted to be Cork's friend. Would you still want
to be friends if your friend wanted you to:
Share your dessert?
Be mean to another student?
Copy your homework?
Sit with another student at lunch?
Have a class discussion about what type of things
might make or break a friendship.
Think of one rule that's very important to you. It can
be a school rule, or a home rule, or a friendship rule.
Write a paper telling about that rule and why you think it's important.
Playground challenge: Pretend a piece of playground equipment is
a tree branch and you are Cork. How long can you hang from your
hands before you have to let go or fall?