Level 3 Easy-To-Read Book ~ Grades 1-3

Written by Dori Chaconas
Illustrated by Lisa Mc Cue

Viking Children's Books
ISBN 0-670-03602-1

A possum and a muskrat become friends despite their many differences.

-What is a friend?
-Who will this story be about?
-What do you know about muskrats and opossums?

What does Cork like to eat?
-What does Fuzz like to eat?
-When Cork found the hollow log, did he know someone was inside?
-What did he think was talking to him?
-What games did Cork try to teach Fuzz to play?
-Why did Cork use a long stick to get a pinecone from the tree?
-What did Fuzz hide under the pointed leaf?

Was Cork happy to play alone?
-What did Fuzz do when he was afraid?
-When Fuzz was playing possum, why did Cork shoo away the insects?
-When Fuzz showed his stones to Cork, Cork laughed. How did Fuzz feel about that?

If you were Fuzz, would you want Cork for a friend? Why?
-Cork and Fuzz are different. Do their differences make their friendship more interesting? Why?
-Name one way in which you are different from one of your friends. Does that difference stop you from being friends?

Ask the students how many times they can say the word muskrat without getting their tongues twisted. Encourage them to repeat the word quickly.   

-Write the following words on the chalkboard. In turn, say each word out loud. How many rhyming words can your students think of for each? Write the rhyming words next to or beneath the core word.

    stone   hard   round   rock   black   red

-Have the students pretend to be Fuzz and it's time for lunch. Ask for six items Fuzz might eat and list the items on a graph. Ask each student to vote for one item Fuzz would eat for lunch. What is the most popular food? What is the least popular?

-Have the students draw a treasure map to Fuzz's hidden stones. Have them use all of the following things in their maps: hollow log, tree stump, pond, thorn bush, pine tree

-Cork and Fuzz like to collect interesting stones. Start a classroom collection by having the students bring in interesting stones. Display them on a table.
-Have the students weigh individual stones or combinations of stones in their hands to compare weights. Have a postal scale handy to check accuracy.
-Line up stones on a flat surface according to size/color/shape/etc.

Ask your students to pretend they are Cork. Write a short letter to Fuzz, telling him why you'd like to be his friend.

-Make a class list about how to be a good friend.



                         2006 Dori Chaconas