Online Homeschool Curriculum - Sample Lesson (Lesson 1 Only)

    My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett    

Chapter 1: My Father Meets the Cat

Performer: LibriVox - Gregory Holdsworth


One cold rainy day when my father was a little boy, he met an old alley cat on his street. The cat was very drippy and uncomfortable so my father said, "Wouldn't you like to come home with me?"

This surprised the cat - she had never before met anyone who cared about old alley cats - but she said, "I'd be very much obliged if I could sit by a warm furnace, and perhaps have a saucer of milk."

"We have a very nice furnace to sit by," said my father, "and I'm sure my mother has an extra saucer of milk."

My father and the cat became good friends but my father's mother was very upset about the cat. She hated cats, particularly ugly old alley cats. "Elmer Elevator," she said to my father, "if you think I'm going to give that cat a saucer of milk, you're very wrong. Once you start feeding stray alley cats you might as well expect to feed every stray in town, and I am not going to do it!"
This made my father very sad, and he apologized to the cat because his mother had been so rude. He told the cat to stay anyway, and that somehow he would bring her a saucer of milk each day. My father fed the cat for three weeks, but one day his mother found the cat's saucer in the cellar and she was extremely angry. She whipped my father and threw the cat out the door, but later on my father sneaked out and found the cat. Together they went for a walk in the park and tried to think of nice things to talk about. My father said, "When I grow up I'm going to have an airplane. Wouldn't it be wonderful to fly just anywhere you might think of!"
"Would you like to fly very, very much?" asked the cat.

"I certainly would. I'd do anything if I could fly."

"Well," said the cat, "if you'd really like to fly that much, I think I know of a sort of a way you might get to fly while you're still a little boy."

"You mean you know where I could get an airplane?"
"Well, not exactly an airplane, but something even better. As you can see, I'm an old cat now, but in my younger days I was quite a traveler. My traveling days are over but last spring I took just one more trip and sailed to the Island of Tangerina, stopping at the port of Cranberry. Well, it just so happened that I missed the boat, and while waiting for the next I thought I'd look around a bit. I was particularly interested in a place called Wild Island, which we had passed on our way to Tangerina. Wild Island and Tangerina are joined together by a long string of rocks, but people never go to Wild Island because it's mostly jungle and inhabited by very wild animals. So I decided to go across the rocks and explore it for myself. It certainly is an interesting place, but I saw something there that made me want to weep."

    My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett    

Chapter 1: My Father Meets the Cat

Performer: LibriVox - Gregory Holdsworth

Directions

Study the story for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read or listen to the story one or more times.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Study the vocabulary words.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Discuss the review questions.

Synopsis

Elmer Elevator, the narrator's father, brings an old alley cat home. Elmer's mother becomes angry about the cat, throws the cat out the door, and whips Elmer. Elmer sneaks out and finds the cat. Elmer says he'd do anything if he could fly. The cat replies that if Elmer likes flying, he knows a way. The cat describes a place called Wild Island and relates he saw something on Wild Island that made him want to weep.

New Words

Narrator: A person who gives a spoken or written account of something.
Alley: A narrow passageway between or behind buildings.
Alley Cat: A cat that lives wild in a town.
Saucer: A shallow dish, typically having a circular indentation in the center, on which a cup is placed.
Island: A piece of land surrounded by water.
Jungle: An area of land overgrown with dense forest and tangled vegetation, typically in the tropics.
Weep: To shed tears.

Word definitions in this document derived from Google Search 'define'.

Enrichment

Activity 1: Study the Story Pictures

  • Before reading or listening to the story, study and describe the pictures accompanying the story. (e.g. Instructor asks children to describe each picture and to name items within each picture.)

Activity 2: Recite the Book Information

  • Before and after reading or listening to the story, recite aloud the name of the author, the title of the book, and the title of the chapter.

Activity 3: Narrate the Story

  • After reading or listening to the story, narrate the events of the story aloud in your own words.

Activity 4: Map the Story

Zoom in to study the map of Wild Island.

Find and identify the following items in the waters surrounding the island:

  • Whales
  • Fish
  • Starfish
  • Sea Monster
  • Octopus
  • Seals

Find and identify the following items within the borders of the island:

  • Island Itself
  • River
  • Jungle Plants
  • Alligators Swimming in the River
  • Gorilla
  • Rhinoceros
  • Tiger
  • Lion
  • Dragon Tied with a Rope

Review Questions

Question 1

Who is Elmer Elevator?
1 / 5

Answer 1

Elmer Elevator is the narrator's father and the main character in the book.
1 / 5

Question 2

What does Elmer bring home?
2 / 5

Answer 2

Elmer brings home an old alley cat.
2 / 5

Question 3

What does Elmer's mother do when she finds out Elmer is feeding the cat in the cellar?
3 / 5

Answer 3

Elmer's mother throws the cat out the door and whips Elmer.
3 / 5

Question 4

What would Elmer give anything to do?
4 / 5

Answer 4

Elmer would give anything to fly.
4 / 5

Question 5

Where does the cat see something that made him want to weep?
5 / 5

Answer 5

The cat saw something sad on Wild Island, across from Tangerina.
5 / 5

  1. Who is Elmer Elevator? Elmer Elevator is the narrator's father and the main character in the book.
  2. What does Elmer bring home? Elmer brings home an old alley cat.
  3. What does Elmer's mother do when she finds out Elmer is feeding the cat in the cellar? Elmer's mother throws the cat out the door and whips Elmer.
  4. What would Elmer give anything to do? Elmer would give anything to fly.
  5. Where does the cat see something that made him want to weep? The cat saw something sad on Wild Island, across from Tangerina.