Online Homeschool Curriculum - Sample Lesson (Lesson 1 Only)


Chapter 1: Puddleby

Week: 1

Dr. Dolittle is an admired doctor in the town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. He lives with his sister, Sarah, and his many pets in a small house with a large garden. His favorite pets are Dab-Dab, the duck, Jip, the dog, Gub-Gub, the pig, Polynesia, the parrot, and Too-Too, the owl. Sarah, who does the housekeeping, dislikes the animals and believes they make the house untidy. Over time, Dr. Dolittle's growing collection of animals drive his patients away. Dr. Dolittle and Sarah grow poorer and poorer, but Dr. Dolittle refuses to part with his beloved pets.

Chapter 2: Animal Language

Week: 1

One of Dr. Dolittle's last patients, a man who sells meat for cats, suggests he become a veterinarian instead of a people doctor. Polynesia the parrot tells Dr. Dolittle she agrees with the cat's meat man. Polynesia teaches Dr. Dolittle animal language, because in the story animals have their own language and can talk to each other. Some animals speak with their mouths, but others speak with their noses, tails, and ears. Dr. Dolittle learns animal language and gives up being a people doctor to become a veterinarian. He helps a horse going blind in one eye by making him spectacles. Dr. Dolittle becomes famous among the animals all over the land.

Chapter 3: More Money Troubles

Week: 2

Dr. Dolittle makes more money as a veterinarian, and Sarah is happy. But the sick animals who come for treatment do not want to leave. They want to live with Dr. Dolittle, and Dr. Dolittle lets them stay. He takes on more and more pets. Dr. Dolittle gets Chee-Chee the monkey from an organ-grinder and a crocodile who escaped from the circus. People are afraid of the crocodile and no longer bring their pets to Dr. Dolittle. When Dr. Dolittle refuses to get rid of the crocodile, his sister and housekeeper Sarah leaves to get married. Soon, Dr. Dolittle is poor again. With Sarah gone, the animals pitch in with the housework and make a stall to sell vegetables and flowers. But it still isn't enough. Winter comes, there is not enough to eat, and the animals are hungry.

Chapter 4: A Message from Africa

Week: 2

The monkey Chee-Chee receives a message via a swallow from a cousin in Africa. The monkeys in Africa are sick and dying. The sick monkeys need Dr. Dolittle's help. Dr. Dolittle borrows a boat and supplies from a seaman whose baby Dr. Dolittle once treated for measles. Dr. Dolittle brings Jip the dog, Dab-Dab the duck, Gub-Gub the pig, Too-Too the owl, the crocodile, Chee-Chee the monkey, and Polynesia the parrot along on the voyage. The swallow flies along with the boat and leads the way to Africa.

Chapter 5: The Great Journey

Week: 3

Dr. Dolittle and the animals sail toward Africa for six weeks, traveling south to warmer lands. During a thunder and lightning storm, their boat hits a large rock off the coast of Africa. Water fills the hole the rock made and the ship begins to sink and break apart. Chee Chee the monkey and Gub Gub the pig do not know how to swim, so Dab Dab the duck flies a rope to shore and ties it to a tree. Chee Chee and Gub Gub climb along the 'life-line' rope to land. They shelter in a cave until the storm passes. After the storm, they set out into the jungle and meet a local man. They follow the man to the King of the Jolliginki.

Chapter 6: Polynesia and the King

Week: 3

The local man that Dr. Dolittle and the animals meet in the jungle leads them to the King and Queen of the Jolliginki. The king locks Dr. Dolittle and the animals in a dungeon, because the last white men who came to his shores killed many elephants for their ivory tusks. Polynesia hides and escapes being locked in the dungeon. That night, Polynesia sneaks under the king's bed. Mimicking Dr. Dolittle's voice, she claims to be an invisible Dr. Dolittle, and scares the king into freeing the prisoners. Later, the queen sees Polynesia sneaking out of the bedroom. The queen tells the king, and he becomes very angry at being tricked.

Chapter 7: The Bridge of Apes

Week: 4

The King of the Jolliginki sends his people after Dr. Dolittle and his animals. Dr. Dolittle and the animals evade capture, because Chee-Chee knows the jungle better than the king's men and hides them all in a secret spot. Dr. Dolittle and the animals travel toward the Land of the Monkeys, eating fruits, vegetables, honey, and nuts from the land. Unbeknownst to Chee-Chee, the king sends his men back out again to search for them. As Dr. Dolittle and the animals near the Land of the Monkeys, the monkeys spot them and give a big cheer. The king's men also hear the monkeys and chase Dr. Dolittle and the animals. Dr. Dolittle and the animals come to the edge of a high cliff with a river flowing below. The monkeys build a bridge out of their bodies, the famous 'Bridge of Apes.' Dr. Dolittle and the animals climb over the 'Bridge of Apes' to the Land of the Monkeys and escape the king's men.

Chapter 8: The Leader of the Lions

Week: 4

Dr. Dolittle begins helping the sick monkeys. First, he separates the sick monkeys from the healthy monkeys. Next, he vaccinates the monkeys. Dr. Dolittle builds a big house to shelter the sick monkeys. He asks the lions, leopards, and antelopes to help nurse the sick monkeys. The Leader of the Lions is far too proud to help and refuses. The leopards and antelopes follow the lions and refuse to help. The Leader of the Lions changes his mind when his cub falls ill and Dr. Dolittle helps the cub. With the additional nursing help, the monkeys sick get better.

Chapter 9: The Monkey's Council

Week: 5

Dr. Dolittle decides to leave Africa and sail back home to Puddleby. He wishes to repay his debt to the seaman who gave him the boat and supplies. The monkeys are sorry to see Dr. Dolittle go. As a show of appreciation for Dr. Dolittle's help, the monkeys decide to hunt down and capture a rare pushmi-pullyu animal to give as a gift to Dr. Dolittle.

Chapter 10: The Rarest Animal of All

Week: 5

In the last chapter, the monkeys decide hunt down and capture a rare pushmi-pullyu animal to give as a gift to Dr. Dolittle. Pushmi-pullyus are two headed animals with no tails. They are hard to catch, because only one head sleeps at a time. The monkeys set out into the jungle to catch a pushmi-pullyu and spot some pushmi-pullyu tracks. The monkeys track the pushmi-pullyu, grab hands and form a circle around where he is hiding, and then close the circle and capture the animal. The monkeys work for three days to persuade the pushmi-pullyu to go with Dr. Dolittle. Eventually, the pushmi-pullyu agrees. The monkeys escort Dr. Dolittle and the animals to the edge of the Land of the Monkeys and say goodbye.

Chapter 11: The Black Prince

Week: 6

As Dr. Dolittle and the animals walk through the jungle, they lose their guide, Chee-Chee. Lost and confused, they accidentally wander into the garden of the King of the Jolliginki. The king throws Dr. Dolittle and the animals back into the dungeon. The king threatens that Dr. Dolittle will be forced scrub the kitchen floor for the rest of his life. Chee-Chee and Polynesia evade capture. They see the king's son, Prince Bumpo, in the garden. Prince Bumpo wishes aloud that he could be older. Polynesia pretends to be a fairy and tells Prince Bumpo that if he frees Dr. Dolittle and the animals and gives them a ship, that Dr. Dolittle will make him older.

Chapter 12: Medicine and Magic

Week: 6

Polynesia visits Dr. Dolittle in the dungeon and tells him he must find a way to make Prince Bumpo older. That night, Prince Bumpo visits the dungeon. Dr. Dolittle and Prince Bumpo strike a bargain. Prince Bumpo agrees to free Dr. Dolittle and the animals and gives them a ship and in return Dr. Dolittle agrees to dye Bumpo's hair gray to make him look older. Dr. Dolittle dyes Bumpo's hair gray and then escapes with the animals to the ship Bumpo prepared for them. Dr. Dolittle and the animals sail away. Polynesia, Chee-Chee, and the crocodile decide to stay behind in Africa, their true home.

Chapter 13: Red Sails and Blue Wings

Week: 7

Dr. Dolittle and the animals sail homeward. They pass the coast of Barbary, home of the Barbary pirates. They spot a ship with red sails in the distance. Jip, the dog, smells bad pirate men and alerts Dr. Dolittle that the ship with red sails is a pirate ship. Dr. Dolittle and the animals add more sails to their boat to try to outrun the pirates, but the pirate ship draws even nearer. Dr. Dolittle and the animals tie strings from the boat to thousands of swallows. With the help of the swallows, Dr. Dolittle and the animals outrun the pirates.

Chapter 14: The Rats' Warning

Week: 7

The swallows become tired and hide the boat in the deep bay of an island so they can rest. Dr. Dolittle sees the ship rats leaving the ship. One rat tells Dr. Dolittle the ship is bad and will surely sink. Dr. Dolittle and the animals leave the boat to look for water on the island. Canaries on the island show Dr. Dolittle the way to a clear, fresh spring. Two swallows tell Dr. Dolittle the pirates have discovered the ship. They are searching the ship, leaving their own pirate ship abandoned. Dr. Dolittle and the animals sneak aboard the pirate ship, planning to sail away and leave the pirates on the old, unseaworthy ship.

Chapter 15: The Barbary Dragon

Week: 8

When Gub-Gub sneezes, the pirates hear and rush upstairs to investigate. Ben Ali, The Barbary Dragon and leader of the pirates, threatens to make roast duck and pork chops out of Dab-Dab, the duck, and Gub-Gub, the pig. Dr. Dolittle talks to the pirates, stalling them in the hope that the old ship the pirates are on will sink. Dr. Dolittle delays long enough so that the boat sinks and the pirates fall into the water. Dr. Dolittle directs sharks to swim around the pirates and keep the pirates from reaching the shore. Dr. Dolittle makes Ben Ali promise to give up his pirating ways and become a seed famer.

Chapter 16: Too-Too, the Listener

Week: 8

Dr. Dolittle and the animals sail off in the pirate ship. The animals explore the ship, and find that the beautiful pirate ship is full of fancy things. The animals find a locked room, but are unable to find the key. Through the door, Too-too the owl hears someone crying. Dr. Dolittle decides to chop down the door with an axe.

Chapter 17: The Ocean Gossips

Week: 9

Dr. Dolittle chops a hole in the locked door with an axe. They find a small boy inside. The boy tells Dr. Dolittle that the pirates threw his uncle into the sea for refusing to become a pirate. The boy is afraid his uncle has drowned. Dr. Dolittle talks to the porpoises and learns the boy's uncle has not drowned. They boy is very happy. They boy and the animals have a parade to celebrate the good news.

Chapter 18: Smells

Week: 9

Dr. Dolittle sends the eagles North, South, East, and West to look for the boy's uncle. The eagles search, but cannot find the boy's uncle. Jip, who can smell things from miles away, searches with his nose but fails to find the boy's uncle. Jip waits for the wind to shift to search more areas by smell.

Chapter 19: The Rock

Week: 10

When the West wind comes, Jip catches the scent of the boy's uncle. Jip guides the ship toward the uncle. Jip says they must hurry, because he can smell that the uncle is starving. They come upon a large rock in the sea, but do not see the boy's uncle. They search the rock and find a deep hole leading to a cave. They find the boy's uncle asleep in the cave.

Chapter 20: The Fisherman's Town

Week: 10

Dr. Dolittle brings the boy's uncle back to the ship. Dr. Dolittle takes the boy and his uncle home to their village. The villagers welcome Dr. Dolittle and Jip as heroes. The village mayor gives Dr. Dolittle a diamond watch and Jip a gold collar. Eventually the Doctor and the animals say goodbye and continue their journey to Puddleby.

Chapter 21: Home Again

Week: 11

When Dr. Dolittle and the animals arrive in England, they travel in a gypsy-wagon to country fairs and show the pushmi-pullyu. This makes the doctor a rich man. They become tired of traveling, and return home to Puddleby. The Doctor repays his debt to the people who gave him the ship and supplies for the journey. Dr. Dolittle and the animals return to their normal routines of life. Back in Africa, the monkeys and Polynesia discuss whether Dr. Dolittle will ever return. They think he will someday.