Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards – 2019 – Silver Medal Award – What Makes an Opossum Tick?

On October 4th, 2019, I opened my email inbox to find the following announcement:

Congratulations on being a Moonbeam medalist!

Attached to this long letter was the following link. (see below)

So, I clicked on it; doubting that this had anything to do with me and was probably SPAM or sent to all of the authors who submitted books and an application. I had sent my paperwork into the committee in late May and frankly had all but forgotten about it! So, much happens between May and October! Read more

Opossum Paper Bag Puppets

Opossum Paper Bag Puppets

Grade Levels: Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4

Resources: Markers, Pink PomPoms, White paperbags, Construction paper in colors; black, grey, & pink, plastic bugs, large googly eyes, pipe cleaners or thinly cut strips of black construction paper, glue.

Preparation: Pre-cut black construction paper ears, pink mouth, & grey curly tail. Order googly eyes-large, plastic bugs, glue. Create!

Time: 20 minutes

Description: Color white paper bags with grey & black markers. Glue on eyes, nose, mouth, & ears. Add whiskers. Glue on a curly tail. Insert one plastic bug into opossum mouth. Glue in place.

Porcupine Puppet

Download Here

Subjects:  Science, Art, English Language Arts
Grade Levels:  Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3
Resources:  Cardstock, Scissors, Glue, Crayons, Colored Pencils, Watercolors, Q-tips
Time: 35 minutes
Made byTeachSmart Creators
Description:  Make the desired number of copies of the Porcupine Puppet on cardstock.  Using crayons or colored pencils, color the porcupine.  Use scissors to cut out the porcupine.  A circle punch can be used to make the finger holes.  If desired, make “quills” by cutting Q-tips in half and dipping the cotton ends in watercolors.  Glue the quills to the body of the porcupine.
Insert pointy finger and middle finger of one hand through the cut-out holes. These two fingers become the legs of the porcupine.  Using the porcupine puppet, retell the story A Porcupine’s Promenade or tell about the life of a porcupine in its habitat.

Paperplate Porcupines


Subjects:Science, Art, Math, English Language Arts, Vocabulary
Grade Levels:PreK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd
Resources:Dinner size paper plates, markers, glue, brown, black, grey, and white construction paper, scissors, glue. 
Time:30 minutes
Made by:Susie Chadwick
Description: Cut paper plate in half. Use a black marker to draw a semi circle on one corner of the back of the paper plate for the porcupine’s face. Add an eye and nose. Color the rest of the back of the plate brown. Cut construction paper into strips with one pointy end. These are the quills. Glue quills on the plate.
Additional Information to Support Completion of the project: This activity is fun and easy!

Toothpick Porcupines

Source:momtrusted.com

Subjects: Science, Art, Math, English Language Arts
Grade Levels: PreK, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Resources: Toothpicks, Air Dry Clay – Color-Terracotta, black marker, dinner size paper plates
Time: 45 minutes
Made by: Susan @ earlylearning.momtrusted.com

Description: Make these pokey, adorable toothpick porcupines with air dry clay and toothpicks. Separate about a handful of clay in each color. Roll and smush it into a rough teardrop shape.  This will be your porcupine’s body.
Fit as many toothpicks (quills) as you can into your porcupine’s body.  Break two toothpicks in half for each porcupine, and use these shorter pieces as legs.  When they’re all set, draw smiling little faces on them.  Cute little critters!

Porcupine Facts Word Search

Subjects: Science, Biology, Environment
Grade Levels: 3rd, 4th
Resources: pencils, markers, copies of the Porcupine Facts Word Search – (1) Sheet
Time: 35 minutes
Made by: House of the Three Dinosaurs; Pennsylvania

Description: This word search contains key information on this unusual mammal: the North American Porcupine. Have fun and learn at the same time!

Additional information to support completion of the Porcupine Facts Word Search:

  1. Porcupines ar mammals and members of the rodent family. Other rodents are mice, rats, squirrels, beavers, hamsters and guinea pigs. Rodents have orane or red teeth because their enamel is very rich in iron, which makes it strong. (Think Iron Man!)
  2. They live in forests, desserts, rock outcrops and hillsides. Some live in trees.
  3. They are herbivores and usually eat leaves, twigs, plants, clover, fruit, roots and tree barks.
  4. Their quills are really modified hairs covered by keratin. Keratin is what makes our fingernails hard.
  5. The quills are hollow, which makes it easy for a porcupine to float. They are pointy, but have a hook on the end, which gets imbedded into their enemies’ skin and hurts the same way a fish hook would hurt us.
  6. Porcupines cannot shoot their quills. The quills generally lay flat until the porcupine is alarmed. These quills then spring erect, similar to us getting goosebumps when we’re scared. The erect quills make the porcupine look bigger and scarier. If that doesn’t scare the enemy off, some porcupines quiver and shake the hollow hills near their rump as a way to warn the enemy to back of. If that doesn’t work, the porcupine emits a fowl odor, chatters his teeth and stomps his back feet.

Forest Animals PowerPoint

Subjects: Science
Grade Levels: 1st, 2nd
Resources: 56 slides in the PowerPoint
Time: 52 minutes
Made by: The Jacoby Jungle, Lakeland, FL

Description: This PowerPoint is full of colorful photographs and easy to understand sentences. It explains where forests are, what they are, and why they are in danger. It gives lots of information about the following forest animals: skunks, beavers, owls, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, porcupines, and bears.