The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary is a delightful book that still captivates the mind of young children today as well as it did when in was written in 1965. This excellent piece of literature excites boys as well as girls. Enhance “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” with these lesson activities.
“Pb-pb-pb-pb” is the magic sound that lets Ralph drive his motorcycle. Teach your students how to write poetry using the sounds of machines, animals or other common sounds. For an example of how to construct a “sound” poem, check out poetry teachers.com.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle provides lead-ins for many writing journeys. Have students research mice or motorcycles and write a report about their topic. Topics for writing could include: How I learned to …., The value of friendship, My greatest adventure, What makes a best friend a best friend, or What makes Ralph and Keith good friends. Another fun way to use this book is to ask the students to imagine another adventure Ralph could have on his motorcycle and write out the scene to be read orally in class.
The book also encourages art. Have students draw pictures depicting different scenes from the books. Dioramas, mosaics or clay figurines can also be used to re-create a section of the book. Have students draw a roadside billboard depicting the Mountain View Inn.
Use activities that include reading and writing. For example, have students turn their favorite story element into a comic strip. Make a class comic book, combining the work of all the students.
Use Ralph’s adventures as an excuse to teach students how to read with expression. Because every chapter ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger, teach students to use their voice to create a sense of mystery that will make others want the story to go on. The book is fun to read. Other aspects of oral reading, such as observing punctuation, are also easily taught.
After reading the book, show students The Mouse and the Motorcycle movie. Have students compare and contrast the book and the movie using a Venn Diagram. Use the diagram as a base for a comparison and contrast article.
Use this delightful book to teach practical bicycle safety. Use the helmet Keith gives Ralph to instigate a discussion on bicycle helmet. Use a bike helmet and two raw eggs to demonstrate the need for a helmet. Put two raw eggs in two different plastic bags. Tape one to the inside of a helmet. Drop both eggs from the same height and compare the results. The egg in the helmet will remain unbroken while the egg outside the helmet will smash.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a delightful book that can be used to highlight many different lessons or concepts. The book will keep their attention and the teacher will guide the students to a better understanding.