"Possum Magic" is the story of a young possum named Hush. His grandmother uses her magic spell to make him invisible; however, he longs to be seen once again. He embarks on a journey through Australia to find the magical food needed to reverse the spell. There are many activities you do with kids after reading the story.
Discuss Hush's journey through Australia. Show students where it is located using a globe or map. Ask students to go to the school library and research Australia. Have them record at least two facts they learnt about the country during their research. Come together as a class and allow students to present their facts to the class. Create a fact poster about Australia and display this in your classroom. Due to the need for library research, this activity is appropriate for first- or second-grade students.
After reading the story with your students, ask them to create a diorama of their favourite scene. Provide students with an old shoebox or small cardboard box to use as the base for their diorama. Allow them to use craft materials to create the characters such as Hush and Grandma Poss. Encourage students to make the possums look like the illustrations in the story using fake fur purchased from the local hobby store. If the students are older, ask them to write a paragraph summary of their scene on the back of their diorama.
Teach students about the food chain of animals using "Possum Magic." The main reason Hush's grandmother makes him invisible is to avoid predators. Gather the class together and create an animal food chain diagram. Cut out pictures from magazines and show which animals prey on each other. For example, you could show that a lion might eat a rabbit. Reassure students that this process is needed for survival among animals. This activity can be used with kindergarten through second-grade students.
Ask students to retell the story of "Possum Magic" through the eyes of either Grandma Poss or Hush. Discuss the fact that the book is written in third person, and that stories can be adapted to be told from other points of view. For younger children, ask them to simply retell the story orally. For older students, ask them to write the story in paragraph form from the new perspective. Use this activity to check for overall comprehension of the story.
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