Runaway Ralph

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"The rousing notes of the bugle and the laughter and shouting increased the feeling of rebellion within Ralph. As the last strains of the bugle call hovered in the clear mountain air, Ralph made up his mind. He knew now what he was going to do. He was going to run away.

Fed up with his timid mother and uncle and his squirmy little cousins, Ralph hops onto his toy motorcycle and zooms down the road to summer camp. It turns out camp is not all peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fun. A strict watchdog, a mouse-hungry cat, and a troubled boy named Garf lead Ralph on some fur-raising escapades. Perhaps home isn't such a bad place to be, if only Ralph can find a way to get there again.

Curriculet Details
21 Questions
19 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring music and animals, as well as annotations describing plot, language, and character development. Students will explore the themes of bravery and friendship. 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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1. Ralph Hears a Distant Bugle

What is Ralph doing in this picture? 
When the boy's father says the bugle was playing taps, he is referring to a famous song you might have heard before. Watch the video below. Have you ever heard it before?  (This annotation contains a video)
The word "scurried" here means nearly the same thing as  
A grandfather clock is very tall, as tall as a grownup. It usually has a hollow inside where all the parts are working to keep time. Look at the picture below. Have you seen a clock like this before? Is this is a good place for a mouse family to live?  (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Ralph angry? 

2. The Open Road

The Waldorf is a four star luxury hotel chain. They were the first chain to offer room service. Waldorf-Astoria hotels are extremely expensive. The video below shows the first Waldorf-Astoria hotel which was built in New York City.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Matt refuse to help Ralph? 
The author is letting us know that Ralph is nervous without actually saying it. Ralph is breathing heavy and his heart is pounding, exactly what happens when you are nervous. Jumping off a porch from a concrete ramp does sound pretty scary! 
Which of the following from the list below does not scare Ralph in this chapter? 
The narrator says that Ralph feels brave here. Bravery is a theme in this story. Ralph confronts many of his fears through bravery and courage. Because of his bravery, he is making a friend in Sam. 
How does Ralph avoid getting captured by Sam? 

3. An Educational Toy

When the book says a horse whinnied, that is referring to the sound the horse makes. When we find words that are spelled and pronounced like the noise they are taken from, we call that onomatopoeia.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is the gopher telling Ralph in this picture? 
The light and soft cloud that Ralph sees is probably a butterfly net. The woman asks if Garf has caught a butterfly in it, but he has caught Ralph instead.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which word from the list below could be put into this sentence in place of the word "rummaged" and not change the meaning? 
In this section, the reader is introduced to some details about Garf. The author does not directly tell us about his character. Instead, the author uses the conversation the girls have with Aunt Jill. This scene shows us that Garf is a pretty lonely boy at this point in the novel. Is there anything else we learn about him in this chapter of the book? Let's start taking mental notes on Garf and Ralph's characters for later. 
Quiz 1, Chapters 1-3 

4. Chum

According to Ralph, which word below best describes Garf's actions at this point in the story? 
There are a few variations on this song you might have heard before. Some call him Bunny Foo Foo instead of Rabbit Fru-Fru, but all of them involve a fairy teaching a bunny a lesson. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Ralph decide to be brave and accept the seed from Garf? 
A golden hamster is like a regular hamster. They are described as 'golden' because of their tan coat.  (This annotation contains a video)
The words "neigh," "moo," and "baa" are examples of onomatopoeia?  
Here is something else that Ralph fears. He overcame his fear of the balcony and cars on the road. Do you think he can be brave dealing with the cat?  

5. The Personul Mowse

Why does Ralph say that Chum has spoiled all his fun? 
The word "blew" is pronounced like the color blue, but each word has its own meaning. This makes it a homonym. Watch the video below to learn more about these types of words (This annotation contains a video)
Who is Aunt Jill talking to in the picture that you just looked at? 
Ralph is still trying to overcome his fears. Instead of being afraid of Garf, he realizes that Garf is just a boy and wants to be friends. Do you think that Ralph is right to try to speak to Garf finally? 

6. A Thief in the Craft Shop

Why does Ralph skip meals? 
Cats are notorious for keeping themselves clean. They groom themselves every day by getting their fur wet and then running over their fur with their tongues. Although this is a normal activity, it still makes Ralph nervous. Why do you think Ralph doesn't want the cat to be clean?  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Garf go sit by the bamboo tree instead of going into the craft shop? 
Quiz 2, Chapters 4-6 

7. The Escape

Look at the word "scrounge" in this sentence. Use the 'Define' feature to determine the meaning. Rewrite this sentence using a word or phrase in place of the word "scrounge" that doesn't change the meaning. 
Mice eat lots of plants and seeds. Mice in the wild eat whatever they can get their hands on (including insects!), but pet mice are typically fed a diet of grains and seeds, often purchased from a pet store. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Ralph's heart beating so fast? 
It was Ralph's bravery that won the fight. Ralph bravely uses his wheel to trick Catso into knocking his cage over and then uses his brains to find a good hiding spot. Ralph is both brave and smart! 

8. Ralph Strikes a Bargain

Using evidence and support from the text, explain why Lana thinks someone has stolen Ralph.  
Garf doesn't trust Ralph at first. After all, who would believe a talking mouse right from the start. Garf thought the story about the watch was a way for Ralph to escape. Now Garf sees that Ralph stuck around after he was free to help Garf set things right. Do you think Garf and Ralph can figure out a way to trust each other? 
As it is used in this sentence, the word "conscientious" means nearly the same thing as 

9. A Dangerous Plan

We come now to the climax of our story. Ralph has to get the watch back, but Sam and Catso might stand in his way. Look for how this situation gets resolved, and think about how all of the events in this book led to this moment. Do you think Ralph can get the watch back? Will Garf take him back to the Mountain View Inn? 
Why is the girl holding a hat in this picture? 
Why does Ralph tell Sam who he is here? 
Ralph says he "earned" his motorcycle back. Remember the deal that Garf and Ralph struck. How well do you think Ralph held up his end of the deal? Do you think Garf will hold up his? We have to read on to find out. 
Quiz 3, Chapters 7-9