Lesson 13: A New Home


Reading and Questions
Materials: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien, journal
Today, your child will read Chapters 26, 27, and the Epilogue. Use the following as discussion and journal questions.
  1. Why did Nicodemus want Mrs. Frisby at the meeting?
    He wanted her to explain exactly what she had heard at the Fitzgibbon's house.
  2. Do you think it is important to make it look as if they never lived in their home? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.
  3. How did the rats get out of the hole?
    They created an escape exit that the men did not see.
  4. How did the rats make it look like there were many rats escaping from the hole?
    They continued running out from under cover and then returning. They ran in what seemed like a random pattern.
  5. How did Brutus get out?
    Another rat carried him.
  6. Which rat do Mrs. Frisby's kids believe risked his life to save Brutus? Do you think it was Justin or a different rat? Why?
    Justin. Answers will vary.
  7. What did Timothy know before his mother told him?
    That his father and Mr. Ages were friends of the rats.

Activity 1: Plot Flowchart

Now your child can fill in an event from the chapters on the "Plot Flowchart."

Activity 2: Elements of Fantasy

Review the elements of fantasy that your child learned about in Lesson 1. Then ask him to list examples from the book that support each element on the page, "Elements of Fantasy."

Activity 3: Plot Diagram

Ask your child to look back over the "Plot Flowchart" that he created during his reading of the novel. Review the fact that the action in a story builds until it reaches a climax. In this story, many of the events threatened the survival of the characters. Choose an option for your child to complete.

Option 1

On the "Plot Diagram" (Option 1) page, ask your child to list the problem of the story on the bottom left line. Next, let him list three major events in the story that lead up to most challenging event for the main character, also called the climax. He can get these events from his "Plot Flowchart." Then he will list one event that happens after the climax, and finally the solution.


Problem: Timothy is sick and cannot leave his home in the garden. If the family does not leave, their home will be destroyed by the plow.
The events will vary.
The climax is when Mrs. Frisby is caught by Billy.
Any major event that occurs after Mrs. Frisby is caught.
Solution to problem: The rats moved Mrs. Frisby's house, and Timothy and the family were saved.

Option 2 (Advanced)

For this option, your child will record the events as described in Option 1, but he will also be asked to label the boxes on the "Plot Diagram" (Option 2) page. Encourage him to label the parts of the story in the boxes before filling in the events.