2005 WNYPBA. All rights reserved
READING RAINBOW TEACHER’S GUIDE
Program #141 — Badger’s Parting Gifts
Author: Susan Varley
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard/HarperCollins
Even though a loved one—human or animal—may no longer be with us, we
have special memories that will stay with us forever.
In a touching story about friendship, beloved old Badger dies, and his friends
are overwhelmed by their loss. In time, however, they comfort themselves
remembering personal moments as well as the good times they shared with
their pal. LeVar shares memories and feelings about his late grandmother,
and joins some young friends who have created artwork in honor of their
loved ones. Then a dancer with The Alvin Ailey’s Dance Company shares how
the founder’s spirit is still present.
TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:
Talk about how telling stories about Badger helped the animals feel better
after his death.
Badger described the end of his life as going down a “Long Tunnel.” Discuss
with students how Badger knew he didn’t have long to live.
Pose the question, “Do our lives follow any kind of cycle?” Discuss the
students’ responses. Ask them if there are other cycles of life that are
important to us.
Invite students to share any special memories they have about a loved one
who is no longer living.
Based on ideas from the program and from their own lives, ask students how
we remember people (e.g., photographs, objects, events, places, stories,
foods, activities they did together, and so on).
Ask students what their individual “gifts” are – i.e. those talents they have that
they could teach others.
Badger made a difference in the lives of his friends. Ask students to identify
people in their lives who make a difference. Extend the discussion to include
ways in which they can make a difference in the lives of others.
CURRICULUM EXTENSION ACTIVITIES:
Revisit the story and chart what each animal received as a “gift” and why
it was viewed as such. Across the top of the chart