Author: Marian Parks
Illustrator: Melinda Beavers
Publisher: Nature Tale Books, Inc.

Theme: Wildlife must persevere to survive in their habitat.

Related Themes:  Endangered species | California coastal habitat | Tide pool | Friendship




Walking in nature among plants like lemonade berry and fresh buckwheat is what Pocketmouse loves best, but life isn’t always so easy. One night, while trying to solve a mystery, he encounters unimagined terror from a predator stalking his habitat. All ends well, and the mystery is solved, when Pocketmouse reconnects with Miss Waters, the park ranger.

Prior to Reading
1.  Show the location of Crystal Cove State Park on a map. The park is about 30 miles west of Disneyland in Southern California.

2.  Show the book cover. Ask what students might expect to see if they were on a beach like Crystal Cove.

3.  Show an image of a real Pacific pocket mouse, and tell students that the story is about an endangered Pacific pocket mouse, who tries to find out why he’s the only pocket mouse living at Crystal Cove.

4.  Directed Listening: Why is Pocketmouse the only pocket mouse living on the beach. What happened to the others?

Discussion Questions
RL.2.1 Why was Pocketmouse the only pocket mouse living on the beach? (A storm ruined the beach and the others left.)

RL.2.3 Pocketmouse was in danger two times. What dangerous event happened first, and how did he survive? (A cat was planning to attack, but Pocketmouse escaped under the Visitor Center door.) What was the second event? (He almost drowned in the tide pool, but Miss Waters saved him.)

RL.2.7 Miss Waters said that Pocketmouse was determined. What happened in the story that shows this was true? (He asked questions. He found the source of the scent, and he planned to find his family.)

Topics for the Reading Journal
W.2.3 Pocketmouse’s best friend is Hi Q, an observant owl. Describe one of your friends and why you like your friend.

W.2.3 Pocketmouse knew he should stay close to his home because it was dangerous to stray. Describe the places where you’re not allowed to go in your neighborhood, and why you shouldn’t go to these places.

W.2.3 Pocketmouse is curious and persistent. Write a paragraph describing how you are curious or persistent.

Writing Opinion Topic
W.2.1 Pacific pocket mice should / should not be protected. Brainstorm the pros and cons of protecting endangered animals. Include at least three reasons why they should or should not be protected.

Story Extensions
1.  Use colored pencils to illustrate the sandstone cliffs, beach, and tide pools at Crystal Cove.

2.  Hold a competition to see who can best deliver one of the stanzas from the story. Practice first! Then ham-it-up

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