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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Daredevil Raccoon Climbs 25 Story Building: Using the News in the Classroom

Perhaps, you may find this of interest to use with students as a possible reading passage and/or interactive notebook activity.

Using the News in the Classroom:

An unusual climber scaled a 25 story building in Minnesota. It was a raccoon! The furry climber first started his trek, stopping from time to time on different ledges to take a break. At one point, around the 17 floor, the raccoon began going back down but changed course and resumed climbing up the building. A crowd gathered at street level to watch the raccoon make its climb. It was dubbed #mprraccoon by reporters at the nearby Minnesota Public Radio station.

As people learned of the raccoon, people wondered what could be done to help it. The windows of the building do not open and it was feared an attempt to rescue it, would endangered lives of the rescuers. Someone actually suggested using a hot air balloon to try and rescue the raccoon! Wildlife experts said it was best to leave the raccoon alone, fearing human interference would only frighten it. Eventually, the raccoon kept climbing and reached the rooftop where food(cat food) had been placed in a cage. Wildlife Management released the female raccoon back into the wild and hope that climbing days are over for this particular daredevil raccoon!

Your Turn:

1. Make a caption for the photograph.
2. Pretend you are the raccoon. Write a diary entry for your day. Why did you make the climb? What were you thinking? What did you see along the way? Etc.
3. What are TWO facts you know about raccoons?
4. Illustrate one of the Did You Know? facts.

Did You Know? Fun Facts:

  1. Did you know that raccoons like to put their food in water before eating it?
  2. Raccoon is a Native American term (Proto-Algonquian language) meaning “one who rubs, scrubs, and scratches with its hands”.
  3. Raccoons live near a water source.
  4. A nursery or a gaze is the name for a group of raccoons.
  5. Baby raccoons are called a kit.
  6. Sounds of a raccoon include: hissing, whistling, purring and growling.
  7. Raccoons are great swimmers.
  8. Raccoons can run up to speeds of 15 mph (24 km/h).
  9. Raccoons are nocturnal- night is when they are usually most active time.
  10. Native to North America, they are also found in southern areas of South America. Raccoons were brought over to other countries and can be found in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Japan and other areas of the world.
  11. The scientific name for a raccoon is Procyon lotor. This means “before-dog washer.”
  12. Raccoons are very smart animals!
  13. Omnivorous is the term for an animal such as a raccoon that eats anything!
  14. Some people refer to raccoons as “little bandits” because of the black "mask” that they have on their face.
  15. Having five fingers enables a raccoon to use their hands to pick up things. They also use their hands and claws to open jars, doors and other things.
  16. Although raccoons may look cute, never approach or touch a wild animal! Raccoons are have sharp claws and sharp teeth.

Photo from

Illustration of paws to ID a raccoon's tracks:

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