Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Parent and Child Book Discussion Grades 2-3 August 2008

Snack ideas: apples, zweiback toast, blueberry muffins, graham crackers, etc.

1. General thoughts about the book. Favorite parts.

2. What does Ralph's mother worry about? Why doesn't Ralph listen to his mother?

3. The bellhop says there are 2 different kinds of visitors at the Mountain View Inn. Which kind would you be?

4. When Keith discovers Ralph, he finds they can understand each other. Why? Why do you think Keith likes Ralph? Do you think Keith would have liked Ralph if he were a cockroach or another hotel pest?

5. Keith thinks Ralph is lucky because he can ride a motorcycle and he isn't allowed to yet. Do some of your friends have toys or things they are allowed to have that you can't? Would you lend your favorite toy to a friend like Keith did? Why or why not?

6. Ralph's mother believes motorcycles are dangerous. Think of a few things that can make riding a motorcycle (or even a bike) safer.

7. How does Ralph feel when he loses Keith's motorcycle? What could he have done to prevent this mishap? How would you react if a friend of yours lost or broke a toy of yours?

8. Ralph's family loves room service. What would you order for breakfast if you were at the Mountain View Inn?

9. How does the hotel discover there are mice living there? What do you think will happen to the mice?

10. Keith is in a hurry to grow up. Are you? What are some grown-up things you wish you could do now?

11. Why can't Keith's father find an asprin when Keith gets sick? The book was written in 1965-- and it really would have been hard to find an asprin at that time. Do you think you would be able to get one today? (Differences: phones aren't disconnected at night/we have cell phones; all stores don't close by 10:00 pm, some are 24 hours; Aspirin isn't the only painkiller available and kids aren't supposed to take Aspirin anymore unitl they are adults, according to doctors--) Any other differences between 1965 and now? (parents sleep in twin beds, cost of meals, cars, etc)

12. What was Ralph's plan to find an Asprin for Keith? What obstacles did he have along the way?

13. When Ralph is captured by the teachers, they call him cunning. What does cunning mean? What words would you use to describe Ralph? (curious, adventurous, disobedient, happy, creative, kind...)

14. Why does Keith tell Ralph he can keep the motorcycle? What do you think will happen after this story (some children will predict, others will know having read the sequels...)

Resources used to develop this discussion:

Teacher's Guide: The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Weston Woods movie viewing guide

Third Grade Reading - Joan Johnson, Waxahachie, Texas

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