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Simple Literature

Ralph S. Mouse

by Beverly Cleary

709570: Ralph S. Mouse Ralph S. Mouse
By Beverly Cleary

 

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 1

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Motocross; Threadbare; Retired

  

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.


1. Why were people and animals waiting in the lobby?

The desk clerk waited for guests. Matt, the handyman, waited for the hotel to close so he could leave. Ryan waited for his mother to tell him to go to bed. Ralph waited for everyone to leave the lobby so he could ride his motorcycle. Ralph’s relatives waited in the woodpile to come out into the open once it was night and everyone was gone.

 

2. Where was Ralph's nest? Why was it there?

Ralph’s nest was under the grandfather clock. He made the nest from small bits of a tissue, a ticket, and carpet fibers. Next to it was Ralph’s red motorcycle and helmet. The helmet was half a ping-pong ball with lining in it. Ralph kept his nest and motorcycle under the grandfather clock because the clock's chimes kept his mouse relatives away. They were afraid of the noise and thought the clock would somehow get them. Because they were afraid of the clock, Ralph could safely park his motorcycle there.

 

3. Why didn’t Ralph want to share his bike with his cousins?

Ralph said his cousins couldn’t use his bike because they were too little, their tails might get caught in the spokes, and the motorcycle was getting old. Although the motorcycle’s parts were wearing out, the real reason Ralph wouldn’t share was because the motorcycle was the only thing he had that was truly his. He wanted to own just one thing that belonged to him and no one else.

 

4. What did Ralph wish he could do so he wouldn't have to face his relatives?

Ralph felt bad about being mean to his relatives, and he knew his mother would lecture him about his word choices and selfishness the next day. Ralph wished he could leave the Inn so he wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of his actions.

 

5. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 1 in Ralph S. Mouse:

Ralph S. Mouse lived at the Mountain View Inn, owned a red motorcycle, and learned to talk by listening to humans. Ryan Bramble, the housekeeper's son, and Matt, the handyman, could understand Ralph, but few others could. At night after the lobby was closed to people, Ralph rode his motorcycle, which he hid under the grandfather clock. One winter night, his many relatives, who lived at the inn when it was too cold to live outside, wanted to ride his motorcycle, too. Because Ralph wanted to have one thing that belonged only to him, Ralph refused to let his cousins use his motorcycle and called them rotten. Later, Ralph regretted his words and felt selfish about what he had done. He wished he could leave Mountain View Inn so he didn’t have to face his mother's coming lecture or apologize to his relatives.

 

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.

 

1. What did the clock in the Inn seem to say?

a. tick, tick; b. Wait….ing; c. Go…Stop; d. Ralph . . . Mouse

 

2. Where did Ralph live in the Inn?

a. In the Kitchen; b. With Ryan; c. At the front desk; d. Under the grandfather clock

 

3. How did Ralph make his motorcycle work?

a. He said pb-b-b-b-b; b. He turned it on with a key.; c. He wound a rubber band.;   d. He pushed it.

 

4. What did Ralph's relatives call him when he wouldn’t give them a turn on his bike?

a. Rotten; b. A rat; c. Greedy; d. A baby

 

5. How did Ralph feel about himself by the end of the chapter?

a. Rotten; b. Okay; c. Happy; d. Sad

 

Answers:

1. b; 2. d; 3. a; 4. c; 5. a

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. What was Ralph waiting for? Is waiting a good or bad thing? Why don't most people like it? What have you had to wait for? Was it worth waiting for?

 

2. What did Ralph want all for himself? Tell about a time when you felt like Ralph? What didn't you want to share? Why did you want it only for yourself? Did the situation turn out well or poorly? How did Ralph's situation turn out? Was he putting more priority on his motorcycle or on his relatives? What is more important? Tell about a time when you felt things were more important than people. Tell about a time when you felt people were more important than things. Are people or things more important?

 

3. What did Ralph want to do so he wouldn't have to face his relatives? Is running away a good solution? What would running away solve? What wouldn't it solve? Tell about a time when you felt like running away. Tell about a time when you faced a tough situation. Is it better to face a tough situation or run away from it? Explain.

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Ralph had problems with all of his cousins. Have each student make up one name for one of Ralph's many cousins. Go around the classroom and have each student tell their mouse name. Go around the classroom, again, and have each person tell about their mouse, such as its parents, where it was born, what it liked to do, how old it was, and why it wanted to ride Ralph's motorcycle. This will help the class get a feeling for all the relatives Ralph had at the Inn.

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 2

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Strenuous; Entangled; Haunches

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS:

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. What woke Ralph? Why was Mr. Minch upset?

Mr. Minch’s upset voice woke Ralph. Mr. Minch was upset because the lobby floor was dirty. There were mud tracks (from Ralph's motorcycle) and mouse droppings from Ralph's cousins on the lobby floor.

 

2. If the hotel people set mousetraps, who in Ralph's family would be in danger? Who wouldn't be in danger?

Ralph’s older family members were well educated when it came to mousetraps and poisons. They would not be in much danger because they knew how to stay away from the traps. The younger family members, though, had little knowledge and no experience with mousetraps and poison. Ralph worried that the younger members of his family would be in danger.

 

3. What was Ralph's dilemma? How did he solve the problem with Ryan's help?

The hotel manager blamed Matt for the dirty floors. Ralph did not want his friend to lose his job because of Ralph and his relatives. He felt bad that his young relatives were leaving the upstairs rooms and coming to the lobby because Ralph was living downstairs under the clock and had a motorcycle. To solve these problems, Ralph decided to leave the Inn. He asked Ryan to take him to Ryan's school. Ralph felt that if Ryan would take him to Ryan's school, everything at the Inn would go back to the way it was.

 

4. Why did Ryan think it would be safe for Ralph to live in Melissa's boot?

Melissa hated wearing her boots, so she left them at school. By doing this, her mother couldn't force her to wear her boots at home. Therefore, Melissa's boots stayed at school and were never used.

   

5. What did Ralph know about teachers and schools?

Ralph thought schools must be safe places because kids like Ryan went to them. Ralph didn't know anything about teachers, except for what he had seen on a TV. He had seen a toothbrush commercial where a woman in it said she was a teacher. Later when he tried using the advertised toothpaste—after a guest left a cap off of a tube—Ralph began foaming at the mouth. One of the maids from the Inn saw him, and she started screaming that he was a “mad mouse." Ralph agreed with the TV commercial; toothpaste was pretty exciting. When Ryan told Ralph about his teacher and his class assignments, Ralph did not understand what he meant.

 

6. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 2 in Ralph S. Mouse:

Mr. Minch woke Ralph when he started yelling at Matt for the mess on the lobby floor. Ralph felt bad because he and his relatives were the ones who left the motorcycle mud tracks and mouse droppings. Ralph did not want Matt to lose his job, nor did Ralph want to face his cousins, who he treated poorly the night before. Ralph made a decision to leave the Inn and live at Ryan's school. Ryan took Ralph and his motorcycle to the school bus stop. Ryan told Ralph they called Miss Kuckenbacker, Ryan's teacher, Miss K, because it would take too much class time if all the students called her by her full name. Ralph remembered seeing a teacher doing a commercial about toothpaste, which reminded him of a time when he first tasted toothpaste. A maid saw Ralph brushing his teeth and thought he was mad because he was foaming at the mouth. Ralph waited in Ryan's pocket on the way to his school. Ralph was both excited and scared.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. What was not on the lobby floor in the morning?

a. Dried mud; b. A toy car; c. Mouse droppings

 

2. What did Ralph hope wouldn't catch any of his younger relatives?

a. Ryan’s mother; b. The vacuum; c. A cat; d. All of the above

 

3. What did the electronic mouser do?

a. It made toast for mice.; b. It made a noise that mice didn't like.; c. It recharged Ralph's battery.; d. It was a robot that moved like a cat.

 

4. Why didn't students say Miss Kuckenbacker's full name?

a. The kids didn't want to say it.; b. No one knew it.; c. It took too much time to say it.; d. Her name kept changing.

 

5. What did Ralph find in Ryan’s coat pocket?

a. A jelly bean; b. A bread crumb; c. A dried up raisin; d. Gum

 

Answers:

1. b; 2. c; 3. b; 4. c; 5. c

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. What was wrong with the lobby? Whose fault was it? Who was blamed for it? How did that make Ralph feel? Tell about a time when you did something wrong and someone else was blamed for it. How did that make you feel? What did you do about it? What did Ralph do about his problem?

 

2. What did Ralph ask Ryan to do for him? How did Ryan respond? What does this tell you about their friendship? Tell about a friendship you have that also has this quality in it. Is this a good or bad quality to have in a friendship?

 

3. Why was Ralph a little scared to go to Ryan's school? What did he really know about Ryan's school? Why do things that we don't know or understand sometimes scare us? What is one thing that you have done or that you will have to do that scares you a little?

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Find a rock that is about the size of a mouse and a toy motorcycle that a mouse could ride. Put both things in the pocket of a child's jacket. Give each child a turn to carry these two items. Discuss how this would be easy or difficult for Ryan to bring Ralph to school. Then talk about how it would be easy or difficult to hide Ralph and his motorcycle from a classroom full of kids and those at the bus stop.

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 3

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Linoleum; Recite; Maze

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. How was Ryan's schoolroom different from the Inn?

The schoolroom had many chairs, and it had many tables. The Inn had a lot of beds. Also, the floors had linoleum on them instead of carpet.

 

2. How did Miss K react when she saw Ralph? What project did Miss K have the class begin?

Miss K said Ralph was beautiful with perfect paws and lovely ears. She called him a miracle. Ralph liked her until she wanted to put him in a cage. Miss K asked the classroom to gather around Ryan and Ralph to observe Ralph. Then she gave her students an assignment to draw pictures, write a story, or write a poem about mice.

 

3. What didn't Ralph want to do? What might Ryan ask Ralph to do?

Ralph was afraid that Ryan would tell everyone about Ralph's motorcycle. He did not want to ride his motorcycle for Ryan's classroom

 

4. What did Miss K think would prove how smart Ralph was? How did it work?

Miss K wanted Ryan to make a maze. In the maze, a mouse would start at one end of it. Someone would time the mouse to see how fast it could go to the other end of the maze where there was a food reward. When the mouse did this same thing a second time, it would show how smart it was by how much quicker it completed the maze.

 

5. Why didn't Ryan give Ralph the motorcycle?

Ryan was afraid that Ralph would use it at the school and that someone would see Ralph. Ryan also wanted Ralph to run in the maze that Ryan and Brad were going to build. Ryan was new at school, and this was the first time he felt included. He told Ralph that Ralph might get his motorcycle if he ran in the maze.

 

6. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 3 in Ralph S. Mouse:

Ralph went to school with Ryan. When a student noticed Ralph in Ryan's pocket, Miss K had Ryan show Ralph to everyone. Ralph liked Miss K until she suggested that he be put in a cage. Ryan liked all the attention the class and teacher gave him for being Ralph's friend. Miss K told Ryan how scientists tested a mouse's intelligence by using mazes. Ryan and Brad were chosen to build the maze to test Ralph's intelligence, but Ralph would have no part of it. When Ryan left Ralph in Melissa's boot at the end of the school day, he didn't leave Ralph's motorcycle. Ryan told Ralph that Ralph might get his motorcycle after going through the maze.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. What kind of animal did Arfy look like?

a. Fox; b. Wolf; c. Pig; d. Cow

 

2. What was the number of Ryan's schoolroom?

a. 7; b. 3; c. 9; d. 5

 

3. Who saw Ralph in Ryan’s pocket?

a. Brad; b. Miss K.; c. Melissa; d. The Custodian

 

4. What did Brad volunteer to bring for the maze test?

a. A cap pistol; b. A mousetrap; c. Cheese; d. A cage

 

5. How did Melissa’s boot taste?

a. Like brownies; b. Like apples; c. Like Sweetarts; d. Like rubber and dust

 

Answers:

1. b; 2. d; 3. c; 4. a; 5. d

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. Were you surprised with how the class reacted when Ryan showed them a mouse? How would your class react if you took a mouse out of your pocket? How would your class react if it saw a mouse run across the floor? What would your teacher do about each situation? What would you do?

 

2. Why didn't Ralph want to be tested in the maze? What scared him about the maze? Why did Ralph grow angry? How is the scientific mouse test different from the tests you take? Who tests your intelligence? How do these people test how smart you are?

 

3. Why did Ryan want to make the maze to test Ralph? What clues does the story give the reader to show that Ryan was lonely at school? What made Ryan feel like he belonged once Ralph came to his school? What do you think Ryan would be willing to do to keep his new-found popularity?

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Out of masking tape and cardboard, make a maze similar to the one that Ryan and Brad are going to make. 

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 4

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Nutritious; Gourmet; Exhibit

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. Who came into Room 5 after school? What did he do?

The janitor came into Room 5. He played music and swept the floor. He straightened Melissa's boots, which made Ralph fall into the foot of one of them. Then the man turned off the lights and left.

 

2. What did Ralph find to eat?

In Room 4, Ralph found pictures that had all kinds of seeds glued to them. He ate some of the peas, rice, and lentils on them. In a different room, he found library paste. By the kitchen, he made a hole in the sugar bag and ate some sugar.

 

3. What did Ralph find on the bottom of a bookshelf?

Ralph found a place to sleep. Between two pieces of heavy paper were shredded papers, which was perfect for a mouse's nest. It was probably a manila envelope that had paper stuffing between its layers and a rip in its side.

 

4. What surprise did Miss K have for the class?

Miss K told the class that a writer for the town newspaper, The Cucaracha, and a photographer would be coming to their class to write about their maze experiment with the mouse.

 

5. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 4 in Ralph S. Mouse:

Instead of staying in Melissa's boot as Ralph promised, he left Room 5 after the janitor finished cleaning it. Ralph ate seeds glued to art projects, library paste, and sugar from the kitchen pantry. In the library, he fell sleep between the sides of a packing envelop and woke just before Ryan found him missing in Room 5. Ralph spent the next day in Ryan's pocket and begged Ryan to let him practice in the maze. Ryan refused. Ryan took the maze back to the Inn to work on it.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. What was Ralph's excuse for breaking his promise to Ryan?

a. The world was cruel.; b. The janitor was mean.; c. He had to find the maze.; d. He smelled food.

 

2. What did Ralph eat?

a. Seeds; b. Paste; c. Sugar; d. All of the above

 

3. Why was Ryan's mother upset?

a. Ryan had muddy shoes.; b. Ryan had a hole in his jeans.; c. Ryan had a hole in the pocket of his new shirt.; d. Ryan drank all the milk

 

4. What would Brad rather write than finish the maze?

a. A book report; b. A poem; c. An essay; d. A biography

 

5. Why didn’t Ryan let Ralph practice in the maze?

a. Ryan wanted to see how smart Ralph really was.; b. Ryan had to take the maze home to keep Brad from finishing it.; c. Ryan was upset with Ralph, so Ryan didn't want Ralph to see it.; d. If Ralph saw the maze before the test, Ryan thought it would be like cheating on a test.

 

Answers:

1. a; 2. d; 3. c; 4. b; 5. d

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. Why didn't Ryan want Ralph to roam the school? What dangers might Ralph get into? Do you think Ryan had a reason for telling Ralph to stay in Room 5?

 

2. What did Ralph do at night at the school? What problems might come from his actions?

 

3. Why wouldn't Ryan let Ralph see the maze? Have you ever been scared about a test like Ralph was scared about this maze? Would it be cheating for Ralph to see the maze ahead of time? Was Ryan right or wrong? Explain.

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Gather dried peas, rice, and lentils. Have students create a picture of a mouse by gluing these seeds to a piece of construction paper. Talk about other things that a mouse might like to eat.

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 5

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Exhibit; Contraption; Disappearance

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. What did Ralph get stuck in one night? How long did it take him to break free?

Ralph was stuck in a Scotch tape dispenser. When he freed one part of his body, another part would get stuck to the tape. He did not get free from it until the school buses began arriving the next morning. 

 

2. Why were the reporter and photographer late?

The reporter and photographer were late because before they came, they were reporting on chickens that had escaped from a truck and were running around on the highway.

 

3. What happened to Ralph in Melissa's poem?

In Melissa's poem, Ralph belonged to a girl named Primrose. One day he was running around in the laundry room while Primrose was taking clothes out of the dryer. She dropped a sock with static cling on Ralph. When Primrose finished folding the clothes, both the sock and Ralph had disappeared. Just as other socks disappear in the wash, this one did, too. Only this time, it was attached to Ralph. No one ever found him.

 

4. Why did Gloria's haiku scare Ralph?

A haiku poems is always written in seventeen syllables. Gloria wrote hers about how Ralph stepped into a trap that had cheese in it. He was killed. This scared Ralph.

 

5. Was Ralph going to run in the maze?

Yes. Ralph decided to run in the maze so he could get his motorcycled back from Ryan.

 

6. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 5 in Ralph S. Mouse:

For the rest of the week, Ralph explored the school. One night he became stuck in a tape dispenser, but he was able to free himself before any children or teachers saw him. Ryan wouldn't let Ralph hide in his pocket again, because his mother found another small hole in the pocket of his shirt. Ralph knew he had done this, but not being able to be with Ryan hurt Ralph's feelings. On Friday, the children read their stories and poems about Ralph while he sat in a fishbowl. A reporter and a photographer came to see Ralph and took photos. Then they left. Finally, it was time for Ralph to go through the maze.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. Why wouldn't Ryan let Ralph hide in Ryan's pocket anymore?

a. Ralph was getting too big.; b. Ryan's mom thought his shirts smelled funny, and there was a small hole in the pocket.; c. Ryan's shirt had no pockets.; d. Ryan was upset with Ralph, so Ralph could no longer hide in Ryan's pocket.

 

2. Where did Miss K ask Ryan to put Ralph?

a. In a cooking pot; b. In a cage; c. In a fishbowl; d. In a vase

 

3. What did Ralph smell in the fishbowl?

a. Apple pie; b. Perfume; c. Himself; d. Ryan

 

4. What did the children do?

a. Sing songs; b. Dance; c. Remain quiet; d. Read their stories and poems

 

5. Why did the reporter and photographer have to leave?

a. The mayor was at the opening of a new auto part shop.; b. The assistant mayor was cutting a ribbon for the opening of a new bank.; c. The governor worried about his own mice.; d. The president was giving a speech.

 

Answers:

1. b; 2. c; 3. c; 4. d; 5. a

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. What scared Ralph about being in a glass fishbowl? How did he try to get out? What did it smell like? How would you feel in his place?

 

2. Did Ralph like the stories and poems about him? Were most of them nice or scary? Explain. If you were getting ready to be tested, would you want people to read these kinds of stories and poems about you? How would you feel if you were Ralph?

 

3. Where do you think the mouse and sock in Melissa's story went? Have you ever missed a sock after it was put in the wash? Where do you think it went? Could a mouse go there?

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Write a story or poem, or draw a picture that would make Ralph feel better if you were in Ryan's class and were able to read it before Ralph was tested in the maze. Read what you wrote or hold up your picture for everyone in your class to see.

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 6

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Muddled; Partition; Commotion

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. What smells came to Ralph at the beginning of the maze?

At the end of the maze was peanut butter. Ralph tried to smell it, but there were so many other smells of food from the kids. He smelled popcorn, tacos, egg salad, bologna, fruit, bubble gum and peanut butter, all the different things the kids had to eat for lunch. As a result, he could not smell the peanut butter that was at the end of the maze.

 

2. How did Ralph get through the maze?

Ralph jumped on top of the dividers and ran straight to the peanut butter.

 

3. How did Ryan feel after Ralph ran the maze the first time?

Ryan was upset that Ralph didn't run in the maze like he was supposed to. Ryan told Ralph that Ryan wished he'd never brought Ralph to school.

 

4. What happened when Brad pushed Ryan?

Ryan had Ralph's motorcycle in his pocket. When Brad pushed Ryan, Ryan fell, and the motorcycle broke in two pieces.

 

5. What did Ralph miss when the students did not show up the next day?

Ralph missed the fireplace at the Inn, the old clock, the TV, the comings and goings of guests, and Matt, who gave him peanuts and popcorn. Ralph even somewhat missed his relatives.

 

6. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 6 in Ralph S. Mouse:

Ralph was put in the maze. When he heard the cap gun go off, Ralph hurried into the maze walls until he realized he could go over the top of the maze. Ryan put Ralph back at the beginning, but this time when the cap gun went off, Ralph jumped on top of the maze and hurried to the peanut butter. Ralph made Ryan angry. When Brad said mean things about Ralph, Ryan and Brad began to scuffle. Ryan fell and broke Ralph's motorcycle, which was in his pocket. After all the children left the school building, Ralph was lonely. He did not know what a weekend was or why the children didn't return. Before long, he began to miss his home at the Inn and all his relatives.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. How did Ryan’s hand smell?

a. Like a jelly sandwich; b. Like a ham sandwich; c. Like a turkey sandwich; d. Like an egg sandwich

 

2. How did Ralph get through the maze?

a. He went over the top.; b. He knocked down the walls.; c. He went around it.; d. He found the passage through it.

OVERVIEW: The following chart demonstrates the teaching resources available on this Web page for this book. Do not use all of these resources for every lesson. Instead, choose one that will help your class fully understand the passage or that aligns with other subject areas you are teaching.

 

 

 

 

Step One

 

 

 

Step Two

(Choose ONE per reading passage)

 

 

Day One

 

 

Read Chapter 1

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Two

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 1

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Three

 

 

Read Chapter 2

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Four

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 2

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Five

 

 

Read Chapter 3

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Six

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 3

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Seven

 

 

Read Chapter 4

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Eight

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 4

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Nine

 

 

Read Chapter 5

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Ten

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 5

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Eleven

 

 

Read Chapter 6

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Twelve

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 6

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Thirteen

 

 

Read Chapter 7

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Fourteen

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 7

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Fifteen

 

 

Read Chapter 8

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Sixteen

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 8

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Day Seventeen

 

 

Read Chapter 9 and

The Epilogue

 

Study Guide Questions OR

Reading-Check Questions

 

 

Day Eighteen

 

 

Class Discussion over Chapter 9 and the Epilogue

 

 

Vocabulary Words OR

Class Activity

 

 

Days Nineteen to  Twenty-three

 

 

Summary Paper

 

 

1) Setting; 2) Characters; 3) Plot; 4) Introduction and conclusion; 5) Summary paper

 

Day Twenty-four

 

 

(Optional) Test

 

Reading and Literacy Test

 

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 6 (cont.)

 

3. Why did Melissa take her boots home?

a. She missed them.; b. Her mom wouldn't let her watch TV if she didn't bring them home.; c. She didn't want Ralph to live in them.; d. It was snowing, and she needed them.

 

4. What confused Ralph about the weekend?

a. The janitor was everywhere.; b. There was no food.; c. The children didn't come to school.; d. Other mice came out to meet him.

 

5. What and who did Ralph start to miss?

a. The Inn's fire and his relatives; b. Matt, the handyman, and the guests; c. The grandfather clock; d. All of the above

 

Answers:

1. d; 2. a; 3. b; 4. c; 5. d

      

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. Why did Ralph run along the top of the maze? How was that a smart thing to do?

 

2. Why didn't Ryan appreciate what Ralph did? Tell about a time when you wanted things to go one way and they went in another direction. How did that make you feel?

 

3. What confused Ralph about the weekend? Tell about a time when something in your life confused you. How might you have felt the same thing that Ralph felt? What would you do if you had a whole empty school all to yourself?

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Ralph's motorcycle broke when Brad pushed Ryan, and Ryan fell down. Make a card. On the front of it, draw Ralph's motorcycle. On the inside, congratulate Ralph for what he did in the maze and let him know that you're sorry his motorcycle broke.

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 7

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Rodents; Outraged; Mosaics

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. How did the class think Brad hurt his arm? How did he really hurt it?

A rumor said that Brad hurt his arm when he hit Ryan. Brad really hurt his arm by riding his bike in the mud while practicing for a motocross race.

 

2. What was wrong about the newspaper article?

The newspaper story was supposed to be about Ralph and the maze experiment that the class was conducting. Instead, the article was about the school being full of mice and how much damage mice did. The reporter didn't take the time to listen and find out what was really happening in Room 5.

 

3. What did Melissa suggest the class do about the newspaper article?

Melissa suggested that the class write letters to the newspaper and tell the newspaper's editor the truth: The truth was that the school only had one mouse and that mouse was Ralph.

 

4. What stopped the class from writing these letters?

Miss K told her students that the kitchen workers found a mice hole in the sugar bag, seeds had disappeared from art project mosaics, the librarian saw shredded paper scattered about, and there were teeth marks in the paste. Miss K said that first the school needed to find out if it had a mouse problem.

 

5. What worried Ralph about the investigation?

Ralph worried that the investigation would bring cats, traps, poisons, and maybe even an electronic mouser.

 

6. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 7 in Ralph S. Mouse:

Ralph was overjoyed when the children returned to the school after the weekend. He hurried to room 5. The children in Room 5 were upset that a newspaper article did not report the right story about Ralph. They wanted to write letters to the newspaper. Miss K told them to wait until everything was investigated. There had been other signs of mice, such as markings in the paste, in the sugar, and on mosaics created from seeds. The idea of an investigation scared Ralph. He wanted to leave the school as soon as possible.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. What did Ralph hide beneath?

a. A coffee cup; b. A snack bag; c. A mitten; d. A hat

 

2. What photo was in the newspaper clipping that fell to the floor?

a. Ralph in the goldfish bowl; b. The mayor; c. The school;   d. Miss K

 

3. How many students thought Ralph’s way of running the maze was clever?

a. 18 students; b. 21 students; c. 5 students; d. 15 students

 

4. Why did the school think there were more mice?

a. They found a hole in the sugar bag.; b. They found shredded paper.; c. They found teeth marks in the paste.; d. All of the above

 

5. What did Ralph want to do?

a. Get out of the school; b. Write a letter to the newspaper; c. Take another maze test; d. Talk to Brad

 

Answers:

1. c; 2. a; 3. b; 4. d; 5. a

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. How did Ralph feel when the children returned to school? Why didn't he hurry to Ryan?

 

2. What did the newspaper article say about the school? Was it a true story? Do newspapers today sometimes get their facts wrong? What was the true story?

 

3. What did Ralph want to do? Why did he want to leave? What scared him about an investigation? What was he afraid would happen to him in an investigation? How would you feel if you were Ralph? How would you feel if you were being investigated?

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Write a newspaper article that tells what really happened at the school when Ralph ran in the maze for Room 5. Draw a picture of Ralph to go with the article.

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 8

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Skulking; Superintendent; Noncommittal

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. How did Melissa want to prove that Ralph was the only mouse at school? Why didn't the class like her idea?

Melissa wanted to leave a purple inkpad on the floor so Ralph would walk across it. Then he would leave purple footprints wherever he went. The class could follow his footprints to find all the places he went. The class did not like this idea because Ralph would have to keep walking over the inkpad, which no mouse would do, and the ink would not remain wet very long on his feet. Besides, an open inkpad would run out of ink before too long.

 

2. Why did Brad think Ryan should buy Ralph a new motorcycle?

Brad thought Ryan was rich because he lived in a hotel. Therefore, since Brad thought Ryan was rich, he also thought Ryan easily could buy a new motorcycle for Ralph.

 

3. How did the school plan to investigate the mouse problem?

Mr. Tanner, the principal, was going to ask Mr. Costa, the janitor, to set five mousetraps.

 

4. Why was Brad able to understand Ralph?

Kids who were lonely and had an interest in cars and motorcycles, like Ralph did, could understand Ralph. Brad's mom did not live at home anymore, and Brad's parents were divorced. Brad was lonely.

 

5. Where did Room 5 place Ralph?

Room 5 put Ralph in the fishbowl with the old mitten. Ryan left him a cap of water and part of a granola bar. Ryan promised to get Ralph out of the fishbowl the next day.

 

6. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 8 in Ralph S. Mouse:

Ralph had grown tired of living at the school. he wanted to go back to the Inn, but he didn't want Matt to lose his job or his relatives to jeer at him. Ralph didn't know what he should do. Meanwhile, Brad learned that Ryan didn't live at a hotel because he was rich. Ralph climbed up on Brad to scold him for breaking Ralph's motorcycle. Brad understood Ralph because he was a lonely boy who liked cars and motorcycles, just like Ryan. Ralph then hid, but Ryan found Ralph. Room 5 put Ralph in a fishbowl with food, water, and a mitten. Ryan promised to get Ralph out of the fishbowl the next day.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. Why wouldn't Ralph return to the Inn?

a. Ryan no longer liked Ralph.; b. It had mousetraps.; c. Ralph didn't want to see his relatives or get Matt in trouble.; d. It was too far away.

 

2. What was the school going to do to investigate its mice problem?

a. Get a cat; b. Use five mousetraps.; c. Use an electronic mouser; d. Use poison

 

3. Why didn't Brad like Ryan?

a. Brad thought Ryan was mean.; b. Brad thought Ryan was rich.; c. Brad thought Ryan was loud.; d. Brad didn't like anyone.

 

4. How did Ralph feel when the students thought he might be caught by the mousetraps?

a. Ralph felt insulted.; b. Ralph felt worried.; c. Ralph felt sad.; d. All of the above

 

5. What was put in the fishbowl to help Ralph sleep?

a. His broken motorcycle; b. A hat; c. A mitten; d. A can

 

Answers:

1. c; 2. b; 3. b; 4. a; 5. c

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. Why was Ralph hiding from everyone, including Ryan? What do you do when you're upset? How does doing that help you? How did hiding help Ralph?

 

2. How did Ralph feel in the fishbowl? Have you ever felt that you were all alone, without a friend anywhere?

 

3. What did Ralph miss about the Inn? When you feel lonely, what do you miss the most? Who do you miss the most?

 

4. Why won't Ralph go back to the Inn? Did he have a good reason or did he have too much pride? Explain. How does pride hurt us? What should Ralph do?

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

The fishbowl isolates Ralph from his freedom and his friends. It makes him feel lonely. Draw a large picture of a fishbowl on butcher paper. Using markers, write words in it to tell about times when you have felt isolated from others or were lonely.

  

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter 9 and the Epilogue

 

VOCABULARY WORDS

Give students the vocabulary words, a dictionary, a sheet of paper, and a writing utensil. Then supervise them as they look up the definitions for each word. Direct their attention to the guide words at the top of the dictionary page and how the words are in alphabetical order. Students should copy the word and main definition of each word on a sheet of paper. Then students should write an original sentence for each word.

 

Imprisoned; Retraction; Infestation

 

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

The following questions have been created for use in study guides.

 

1. Where did Ryan take Ralph? How did Brad feel about going with them?

Ryan took Ralph back to the Inn. Brad went with them. He was thrilled to ride in a school bus and go to a hotel.

 

2. Describe the Laser XL7.

The Laser LX7 was a miniature sports car with wire-spoked wheels, silver-grey hubcaps, and wide, thick tires.

 

3. How did Ralph make his car move? How did he make it go backwards?

The Laser XL7 sports car did not move when Ralph said pb-pb-b-b. That only worked for motorcycles. Ralph had to say vroom-vroom to make it go forwards and moorv-moorv to make it go backwards. Moorv-moorv is the opposite of vroom-vroom.

 

4. What did the Cucaracha Voice newspaper say in its retraction? 

The Cucaracha Voice wrote a retraction about their story about mice infesting Ryan's school. They said that the school was not filled with mice, and the story should have been about a pet mouse owned by Ryan Bramble.

 

5. What was Ralph's good deed?

By going to the school, Ralph felt that he had brought Brad and Ryan together and that they had become friends. Bringing these two lonely boys together was his good deed.

 

6. Write a summary paragraph over Chapter 9 and the Epilogue in Ralph S. Mouse:

Principal Tanner told Miss K that no mice had been caught in the mousetraps. So she had her class write letters to the editor of the Cucaracha Voice newspaper to tell what really took place in their classroom. Ralph felt sorry for himself, until Ryan took him back to the Inn. Brad went with them. Ralph did not want to face his relatives, until he saw that Brad had brought him a Laser XL7 sports car. When his relatives hurried around it to ride in it, Ralph made them wait in line and helped them see that only the older mice should know about it. It was too dangerous for the younger mice. Brad's dad eventually married Ryan's mom and the family moved to another home. Ralph stayed at the Inn and gave rides in his car to his older cousins every night.

  

READING-CHECK QUESTIONS

The following questions help verify that your students have read the assigned passage with only a brief interruption to their reading.


1. What did all the children in Room 5 write?

a. Letters to the editor; b. A retraction; c. A poem; d. A report

 

2. Who went to the Inn with Ryan and Ralph?

a. Miss K; b. Melissa; c. Brad; d. Ryan's class

 

3. What did Ralph get to replace his motorcycle?

a. A boat; b. A BMX bike; d. A skateboard; d. A Laser XL7

 

4. What kind of noise does Ralph have to make for his new vehicle to go backwards?

a. Zeee-zeee; b. Moorv-moorv; c. Go-go; d. Pb-pb-b-b

 

5. What did Ralph learn from Room 5?

a. To ask his cousins to take turns and not tell the younger mice about the car; b. To eat peas and beans and not get caught in mousetraps; c. To help others become friends and escape the fishbowl; d. All of the above

 

Answers:

1. a; 2. c; 3. b; 4. d; 5. a

  

CLASS DISCUSSION

The following questions can be used to interact with students about the assigned reading passage. The emphasis of the discussion should be on whether your students use critical thinking, logic, and/or their imagination, not whether their answers match yours.

 

1. Why did Ryan take Ralph back to the Inn? Why couldn't Ralph stay at the school?

 

2. What good deed did Ryan and Brad do for Ralph? What good deed did Ralph do for Ryan and Brad? What happens when everyone tries to help each other?

 

3. What did Room 5 learn from Ralph? What did Ralph learn from Room 5? How do you learn from others even as they learn from you?

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Interact with this passage through an activity that will help students better understand it. 

 

Make a mouse out of balls of cotton and yarn for the tail. Find a small car that this "mouse" would fit in. Roll the car back and forth between students. Let each "mouse" in the classroom take a turn.

Summary Paper

 

The summary paper teaches students how to view a book through its setting, characters, and plot. It also prepares students to take the next step and write book reports beginning in fifth grade.

 

Day Nineteen – Setting

 

Have students write "Where" at the top of one note card. They should write "When" at the top of a second note card. On the front of each note card, students should write at least five separate words or phrases on each note card about where the story started and when the story took place. Suggest that they reread the first few pages of the book if they need help with this assignment. On the back of each note card, students should write two to three sentences based on their notes. Students should receive a passing grade for today's work if they wrote at least five separate words or phrases on the front of each card and at least two sentences on the back of each card.

 

 

Day Twenty – Characters

 

Have students fold a sheet of lined paper in half length-wise, creating four columns – two on the front and two on the back—divided by the fold line. At the top of each column, have students write the name of one main character. In each column, they can write sentences to describe this person or animal. For example, students may tell how the character looked, talked, walked, and/or describe the character's height, weight, age, or family. If students tell what characters did, instead of describing the character, ask them what those actions tell about the character. This will help students practice using their inference skills and arrive at a description. Students should receive a passing grade if they wrote at least three descriptive sentences about each of the four characters.

 

 

Day Twenty-one – Plot

 

Ask students to cut and paste their summary paragraphs from each passage (written in the study guides at the time they read these passages) to a large sheet of construction paper or a poster board. (If they did not do this assignment, they should write a summary of each chapter.) They can put a "1" over the first paragraph and draw an arrow to the second paragraph. Then they can put a "2" over the second paragraph and draw an arrow to the third paragraph. Have them continue in this way to create a flow chart that tells the whole story. Then have students go back and add transitions that are one sentence long above each arrow that will connect one summary passage to the next. Students should receive a passing grade if they have put their paragraphs in the correct order with large arrows that show the way from the beginning to the end of the book and have included transitions.

 

 

Day Twenty-two – Introduction and Conclusion

 

To write an introduction, students should first write the book's title and underline it; then students should write the author's name. They can do this by filling in the blanks. [Title of book] by [author's name] was [adjective to describe it]. Then they should choose to complete any three of the following sentences

 

1. I liked (or did not like) how

 

2. I learned that

 

3. It was interesting (dull) when

 

4. It was exciting (boring) when

 

5. The author probably wrote the book to

 

 

To write a conclusion, students should complete any three of the following sentences:

 

1. The best part of this book was when

 

2. I would like to change how

 

3. I want to tell [friend's name] about this book because

 

4. The best line in this book was

 

5. It's too bad the book did not

 

6. A better ending for this book would be [better ending] because

 

 

Students should receive a passing grade for this assignment if they wrote at least three sentences for the introduction and three sentences for the conclusion.

 

 

Day Twenty-three – Putting It All Together

 

Students can put their summary papers together by stacking what they have already written. They can start with their introduction. Using the sentences they have already written, they can add one or two additional sentences to explain what they meant.

 

The first body paragraph should detail the book's setting. Students can explain the setting of this book by using the sentences they wrote on the two note cards. They should arrange the sentences with transitions so the sentences work together.

 

In the second body paragraph, students can introduce two to four of the book's main characters. They do not have to use all of the characters they wrote about earlier, but they must use at least two. The opening line of this paragraph should suggest that these are the main characters. An additional line can be added to show how these two characters relate to each other.

 

The character paragraph should be followed by the summary paragraphs of each passage. The students' transition sentences should be included so the paper flows from one event to the next. At this time, sentences can be cut from their summary paragraphs so that only the main points of the story are given from the beginning to the end of the story.

 

Finally, the last paragraph in the summary paper should be the students' conclusions. Using the sentences they have already written, they can add one or two additional sentences to explain what they meant.

 

With that, their summary paper is finished!

Optional Reading and Literacy Test

 

The following is an optional Reading and Literacy Test over Ralph S. Mouse. This test covers vocabulary (questions 1-3), main idea (questions 4-5), inference (questions 6-7), and summary (question 8).

 

1. "Mice often have to think fast to survive." In this sentence, survive means

 a. To eat well / b. To live / c. To be happy / d. To get something done

 

2. "Ralph thought of several impolite things she could have said as he walked nervously around his prison, wondering how much longer before he would have to run that maze." In this sentence, impolite means

a. Rude / b. Strange / c. Nice / d. Awkward

 

3. "Later, when Mr. Costa came in to sweep, he listened to the radio sing a mournful song about a lonely truck driver in jail who longed for his eighteen-wheel rig and the open highway." In this sentence, mournful means

a. Country / b. Melodic / c. Interesting / d. Sad

 

4. What was the main reason Brad did not like Ryan?

a. Brad thought Ryan was stuck up. / b. Brad thought Ryan was mean. / c.  Brad thought Ryan was rich. / d. All of the above

 

5. What was the main reason that Ralph did not want to go back to the Inn?

a. Ralph did not want to live under a clock.  b. Ralph did not want to get Ryan's mom fired. / c. Ralph did not want to face his cousins. / d. Ralph did not like living at the Inn.

 

6. Ralph liked it best when he was

a. Around others / b. All alone / c. Sleeping / d. Being mean to his cousins

 

7. What did Ryan and Brad learn about each other?

a. They were enemies. / b. Their lives were similar. / c. They both had pet mice.

 

8. List three ways that Room 5 reacted to the story in the newspaper about Ralph.

 

Answers: 1. b; / 2. a; / 3. d; / 4. c; / 5. c; / 6. a; / 7. b / 8. (1) The class was upset that the newspaper reported the wrong information; (2) The students waited for the school to investigate and prove there was no mouse problem: (3) The students wrote letters to the editor to explain what was wrong about the newspaper story.

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