Read and discuss some newspaper editorials with students. Then, have students write editorials in the voice of Ralph’s mother or Keith’s mother, explaining why the chosen character believes that motorcycle riding is dangerous. Students can work with partners to brainstorm reasons why these characters may want people to stop riding motorcycles. They should then find statements in Chapter 4 to support these ideas. Students’ editorials should express the character’s opinions and address the beliefs of readers who might disagree with them.
Draw a Comic Strip
As a class, study comic strips in a newspaper. Discuss how they use words and illustrations to tell a short story or make a point. Then, reread the scene in Chapter 4 in which Ralph learns how to ride the motorcycle. Have students depict the scene in comic strip form. Encourage students to use humor in their words and illustrations.
Pronounce each vocabulary word for students, and review the definitions as a class. Have students demonstrate their comprehension of the words by using them in sentences.
threshold: n. The entrance to a house, room or building
momentum: n. Force of movement of a physical object or course of events
exhilarated: adj. Invigorated; stimulated
baseboard: n. A wooden board forming the base of something
Have students answer the following questions individually or in small groups. Students can then share their answers with the class.
Would you have trusted Ralph with your own toy motorcycle? Why or why not?
Describe how Ralph feels while riding the motorcycle.
Why is Ralph afraid of dogs?
How is Ralph able to make the motorcycle run?
Write a Feature Article
Have students write articles about the cinnamon buns for the food section of a newspaper. First, have students reread the description of the cinnamon buns in Chapter 5. As a class, create a recipe for the popular cinnamon buns; be sure to include the ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Also, brainstorm a list of adjectives to describe the cinnamon buns. When students write their articles, they should give the cinnamon buns a catchy name, tell readers why they are good to make at home, and include the recipe.
Write a News Article
Have students imagine that they are newspaper reporters. Assign them to write news articles about the motorcycle-riding mouse at the Mountain View Inn. Students should start by making a list of hotel guests who saw the mouse ride the motorcycle. They should conduct imaginary interviews with these characters and write down what each one