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BLAST Early Learning
What a Treasure!


What a Treasure!
by Jane and Will Hillenbrand
Mole digs with his new shovel, finding useful things for the other animals and a new friend for himself.


Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed
by Mo Willems
Wilbur, a naked mole rat who likes to wear clothes, is forced to go before the wise community elder, who surprises the other naked mole rats with his pronouncement.


Open-ended Questions for What a Treasure!:

  • What kind of treasure would you like to find?
  • The bird probably used the twig for her nest. How could you use a twig?



What a Treasure
(sung to "Frère Jacques")
What a treasure, what a treasure
Mole did find, mole did find.
He found a shell for snail! He found a shell for snail!
What a find, what a find

...He found a twig for bird! He found a twig for bird! …
...He found a nut for squirrel! He found a nut for squirrel! …
...He found a brand new friend! He found a brand new
friend! …

Digging Song (sung to "Row Your Boat")
Dig, dig, dig a hole
Dig it in the ground
Dig until you find a treasure
Tell me what you've found
(Name something, such as, Stick, stick, stick) we've found
Found it in the hole
I will give it to a (bird)
A treasure from a mole.


Vocabulary Word:

mole: n. a small insect-eating mammal that has small eyes, strong forefeet, and usually tunnels or burrows underground

“They are a little bit rat. They are a little bit mole.”
(taken from Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems)



Treasure Match
This game can be played individually at a station, or by the whole group taking turns.
Materials needed:
• Treasure Match Cards (taken from

First, match each character to its treasure as a simple puzzle. Then, turn all the cards over and mix them up. Turn over two cards at a time. If the cards are a matching character and treasure, collect them. If not, the next player takes a turn.


  • Will’s Art
    A technique Will Hillenbrand uses in his artwork is to draw on both sides of a sheet of translucent vellum paper. You can experiment with these
    coloring effects with vellum or with lower-quality tracing paper.
    Materials needed:
    • Vellum paper (available from art supply stores) or tracing paper
    • Colored pencils
    • Narrow felt tip markers
    Draw an outline picture (don’t fill in colors yet) on one side of the vellum or tracing paper. Turn your picture over and hold it up to the light. What do you see? Add some color on the back side of your picture, filling in your design. Color in big sections, but leave some sections plain. Turn your picture over to the first side and hold it back up to the light. Now what do you see? Now add more colors and details on the first side of your picture. You can color in sections you didn’t color before; color over sections that already have color, or add details like stripes or spots. Try a variety of colors in both marker and colored pencil.

    Mole Fun Facts:
    • Moles are small mammals, about 5 inches long. They look a little like mice with big paws and no ears.
    • Moles are not rodents like mice. Moles are insectivores. Rodents have short snouts with prominent front teeth. Insectivores have long snouts with many sharp teeth that are good for eating bugs.
    • Moles have wide, clawed front feet that they use to dig through the ground. They dig whenever they are awake, searching the soil for insects and worms to eat.
    • Moles have very weak eyes that don’t do much except sense light. Instead, they rely on their senses of touch, smell, and even electrical charge to “see” what they are doing.
    • It doesn’t matter to a mole whether it is night or day underground. They dig and eat for four hours, sleep for four hours, dig and eat another four hours, sleep another four hours, back and forth all day and night.



Treasure by Suzanne Bloom
When Bear follows Goose on what he thinks is a treasure hunt, they make a wonderful discovery.


Bear Snores On
by Karma Wilson; illustrations by Jane Chapman
On a cold winter night many animals gather to party in the cave of a sleeping bear, who then awakes and protests that he has missed the food and the fun.


Mole Music by David McPhail
Feeling that something is missing in his simple life, Mole acquires a violin and learns to make beautiful, joyful music.


The Secret Birthday Message
by Eric Carle
A message in code starts Tim off on an exciting treasure hunt until he finds his special birthday surprise. Features die-cut pages.