Ralph S. Mouse

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"Look, Ryan," he said. "I'm in trouble and I don't have time to tell you about it. Just take me and my motorcycle with you, and don't ask questions."

"To school?" Ryan was surprised.

Ralph's pesky cousins are wrecking his motorcycle, and his janitor friend, Matt, is in trouble because there seem to be mice in the hotel. All in all things are not going well at the Mountain View Inn. So Ralph persuades his young pal Ryan to take him to school. Ralph is an instant hit with Ryan's classmates. But he doesn't like being forced to run through a maze or the threat of an exterminator coming to the school. Worst of all, Ryan gets into a fight with a classmate, and Ralph's precious motorcycle is broken. Is Ralph S. Mouse smart enough to steer this sad situation to a happy ending?

Curriculet Details
32 Questions
29 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring theme and inference, as well as annotations describing character development, key vocabulary and point of view. Students will explore the theme of friendship amongst humans and animals. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1

Ralph S. Mouse is the story of a mouse who lives with his family and rowdy cousins who keep trying to wreck his precious motorcycle. So Ralph convinces his friend Ryan to take him to school, where Ralph discovers a new set of problems.  
The setting of Ralph's home is  
What is meant by the phrase, "that mouse is a mouse in a million"? 
Thistledown is the soft feathery material which protects the fruiting part of a thistle. The image below shows what thistledown looks like. Have you ever seen and touched thistledown?  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Ralph feel when he rides his motorcycle?  
Think about a time when you had a prized possession and other kids wanted to use it. How did you handle the situation?  
Why is Ralph's motorcycle so special to him?  
A motorcycle has many different parts, such as exhaust pipes and a rear wheel shock absorber. The diagram below will show you the names of the parts and where they are located.  (This annotation contains an image)
Do you think Ralph was being greedy and selfish when he didn't let his cousins ride his motorcycle? Why or why not?  

Chapter 2

The video clip below will explain the concept of theme, or central idea in a story. As you read, think about the theme or themes that are emerging in the story.  (This annotation contains a video)
How does Matt feel about the mice living in the hotel?  
Pay attention to the highlighted sentence, which shows that Matt is still protecting the mice even though they could cost him his job. What character traits does this reveal about Matt? 
Why does Ralph feel that he must leave the hotel and go live at Ryan's school?  
The highlighted phrase indicates that the hotel is located in California, near the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The map shows where the Sierra Nevada mountains are located in relation to the Sacramento Valley.  (This annotation contains an image)
Ryan can be described as ________.  
Read the highlighted passage. What does it reveal about most people's feelings toward mice? Why are Ralph's feelings hurt?  
Describe the relationship between Ryan and Ralph. Refer to details and examples in the text when explaining their friendship.  

Chapter 3

Read the highlighted passage. What is Ralph referring to when he says, "recite some words about a flag and something about liberty and justice for all?" 
Every story has a narrator and a point of view, the perspective from which a story is told. The point of view of a story shapes what the reader thinks the about characters. There are two main types of point of view. Watch the video below to learn about the types of point of view. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the highlighted passage reveal about Miss K?  
The highlighted sentence reveals that Miss K. would like to keep Ralph in a cage as a class pet. Does your class have a pet, or have you ever been in a class with a pet? Do you think Ralph would like to be the class pet?  
The highlighted passage reveals that Ralph is feeling _______ about the possiblity of running in a maze.  
A ventriloquist is a person who can speak or utter sounds so that they seem to come from somewhere else, such as a dummy of a person or animal. Have you ever seen a ventriloquist perform? The video clip below shows a ventriloquist performance.  (This annotation contains a video)
Ralph feels that Ryan is being mean because he refused to give him his motorcycle. Explain why Ryan didn't give Ralph his motorcycle. Do you think Ryan is being mean? Why or why not?  
Quiz 1 

Chapter 4

As you read the story and view the illustrations, think about how the illustrations help to better understand the events taking place in the story. How does the illustration on this page go with the specific descriptions in the text?  
Which of the following sentences is an example of first-person point of view?  
The highlighted passage reveals that Ralph is feeling nervous and unconfident in his ability to run the maze. Think about a time when you had to do something that made you feel nervous and unsure of yourself. Were you able to do it after all? What advice would you give to Ralph?  
Which adjective best describes Brad?  

Chapter 5

Describe the setting of Ryan's classroom at Irwin J. Sneed Elementary School. Explain the ways in which it is similar to and differerent from your classroom at school.   
A limerick poem is often a funny poem with a strong beat. Limericks are silly poems and can sometimes be nonsense. They are great for kids to both read and write as they are short and funny. Watch the following video and read the examples of limerick poems. Have you ever written a limerick poem?  (This annotation contains a video)
How does Ralph feel about being in the fishbowl?  
The tone or feeling of Gordon's essay about mice can be described as_________.  
A haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. The following image is an example of a haiku. Have you ever written one?  (This annotation contains an image)
How are haiku poems different from limerick poems?  

Chapter 6

Do you think Ralph will figure out how to make it to the end of the maze? Make a prediction as to whether he will succeed or fail.  
What did Ralph do in the maze that he isn't supposed to do?  
Ralph experiences the darkest moment of his life when his motorcycle is destroyed. Think about a time when something precious to you was broken or destroyed. How did you feel? What can Ralph do now that his motorcycle is gone?  
Ralph and Ryan used to be good friends and now they are not getting along. Explain the ways in which Ryan has turned on Ralph, choosing details from the text.  
Quiz 2  
Think about a time when you felt really lonely, like Ralph. What can he do to ease his loneliness? Do you think Ralph should go back to the hotel to face his family, or stay at school?  

Chapter 7

Read the highlighted sentence. What can you guess about the season, based on the weather?  
How does the class feel when they think Ralph is missing? Have you ever lost a pet? How did you feel? What can the class do to find Ralph? 
A majority of the class agree that ________.  
Do you agree with the statement that "bad news sells more papers than good news?' Do you think the reporter lied about Ralph to get more people interested in reading her article?  
Do you think there are more mice at the school other than Ralph? Support your answer with evidence from the text.  
Take a look at the illustration on this page. What thoughts and feelings come to mind as you view the image? How does the picture help you better understand how Ralph is feeling?  

Chapter 8

Read the highlighted sentence and think about all of the problems Ralph has encountered after he left the inn to save Matt's job. What theme is represented by Ralph's decision to leave the inn to help Matt?  
Brad has a bad attitude toward Ryan because he thinks he is rich, when indeed Ryan is not rich. Do you think it is fair of Brad to judge Ryan because he thought he was rich? Think of a time when someone judged you unfairly. How did it make you feel?  
When Ralph says, "What a joke," in reference to the school using traps to solve the mouse problem, how do you think he  feels about the traps?  
Are you surprised to learn that Brad is lonesome? Do you think that is why he is rude to others? Think of a time when you were feeling lonesome. What did you do to overcome the feelings of loneliness?  
What do Ryan and Brad have in common?  
Pay attention to the highlighted passage. The passage reveals that Ryan is trying to be kind and helpful to Ralph. Do you think Ryan and Ralph will become friends again?  

Chapter 9

Have you noticed that each chapter in the story has a title that gives a clue about events that will take place in the chapter? Make a prediction about why Chapter 9 is called, "The Surprise."  
Why does the class write business letters to the Cucaracha Voice instead of friendly letters?  
Are you surprised that Ryan and Brad are good friends now? Think of a time when someone you did not like at first became a friend.  
In the highlighted sentence, Matt is referred to as Ralph's protector. Describe the ways in which Matt protects Ralph and also the ways in which Ralph has protected Matt.  
Ralph is super excited about his new sports car. In what ways is the car better than his motorcycle?  
Which of the following is true about Ralph's sports car?  
Sometimes newspapers print articles that have misleading or untrue information. When a newspaper writes a retraction, they take back the incorrect information they printed and correct it with true information. Have you ever read a retraction article in a newspaper?  
What good deed does Ralph do?  
Describe the things that Ralph learned from his time in Room 5.  
Ralph helped Miss K educate her class. Think about a time when you had a class pet. What things did you learn from the pet?  


Quiz 3