Online Homeschool Curriculum - Sample Lesson (Lesson 1 Only)

Chapter 1: The River Bank

Week: 25

It's spring. The Mole quits his spring cleaning and breaks out of his underground burrow to venture above. He sees his first river and meets the Water Rat, who takes him on his first boat ride. Floating on the river, they pass the Wild Wood, where Badger lives. They stop to have a picnic with the delicious food Rat has packed in his basket. Otter and Badger make appearances. They talk about Toad, who has been out in his new wager-boat (newest, top-of-the-line, racing boat). They pack up the picnic, and Rat and Mole head for home. On the way back, Mole grabs the sculls (oars) from Rat and capsizes the boat. Rat saves Mole and rights the boat. Rat forgives Mole, invites the Mole back to his home, and says he will teach Mole to row. Rat feeds Mole supper, tells Mole stories, and lets Mole stay in the best bedroom overnight.

Chapter 2: The Open Road

Week: 26

Mole asks Rat to introduce him to Toad. They take the boat down the river to Toad Hall. Toad shows Rat and Mole his gypsy caravan and invites them to travel with him in the caravan. Rat refuses at first, but when Mole wants to go, Rat relents. They set off and at first things go well. Then Toad does not want to do his fair share of work or get up in the morning. As they travel down the road, a motorcar races by and spooks the horse pulling the caravan. The caravan crashes, but Toad doesn't care, because he's already obsessed with getting his own motorcar. They all return home. Rat and Mole later hear that Toad has ordered a very large and very expensive motorcar.

Chapter 3: The Wild Wood

Week: 27

Against the advice of Rat, Mole ventures into the Wild Wood to see Badger. In the dark, spooky woods, hateful eyes look out at him from the hollows. Mole hears whistling and the pattering of footsteps all around him. Frightened, Mole curls up in a stump and hides. When Rat discovers Mole is gone, he grabs some weapons and follows Mole into the Wild Wood. Rat finds Mole, and they start for home, but it snows, hiding familiar landmarks. Rat and Mole become lost and continue to wander. When Mole trips over a door scraper, Rat celebrates, recognizing it as belonging to Badger. Rat and Mole scrape at the snow until they find a doormat and a green door. They yank a bell pull and hear it faintly toll inside.

Chapter 4: Mr. Badger

Week: 28

Badger welcomes Rat and Mole inside his underground home. Badger lets them warm themselves by the fire, feeds them, and gives them cozy, comfortable places to sleep. The next day Rat is anxious to get back to the river. Badger leads them through a labyrinth of tunnels and grand halls and up and out of the Wild Wood. Badger remarks his underground home was built long ago by men. He says that when men come, animals leave, but eventually men depart and animals return.

Chapter 5: Dulce Domum (Sweet Home)

Week: 29

Mole and Rat head home after a day of exploring with Otter. After passing through a quiet village, Mole smells his old home. When Mole asks Rat if they can stop, Rat refuses since it is snowing and getting dark. When Rat realizes how much Mole misses old home, Rat apologizes and agrees to visit Mole's old home. Mole and Rat return to Mole's old home, and they have dinner. That night, they hear field mice singing Yule-time carols. They invite the mice inside and make mulled ale. Rat and Mole spend the night, and Mole sleeps with great contentment in his own little place in the world that he can always count on.

Chapter 6: Mr. Toad

Week: 30

Badger enlists Rat and Mole to rescue Toad from himself, for Toad has ordered yet another expensive motorcar. They travel to Toad Hall, where Toad is about to take a ride in his new red motorcar. Badger lectures Toad about squandering his money, his reckless driving, his car crashes, and his incidents with the police. Toad says he is NOT sorry and will continue to drive motorcars. Badger, Rat, and Mole lock Toad in his bedroom and keep watch over him for days. Toad pretends to be very ill and tricks Rat into fetching a doctor and lawyer. Toad dresses in his driving clothes and runs away from Toad Hall. When Toad hears a motorcar, his obsession takes over and he steals the car. He is caught and brought up on trial. For the crimes of stealing the car, reckless driving, and disrespect to the police, a judge sentences Toad to 20 years in prison.

Chapter 7: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Week: 31

Otter's child, Portly, is missing. Night has fallen. Mole and Rat take the boat out at night to search for the little otter. As they row up and down the river, Rat and Mole hear a distant piping. They follow the song to an island, where they find the demi-god Pan playing his pan-pipes over a sleeping Portly. When the sun rises, Pan disappears and Mole and Rat forget about their encounter with Pan. Mole and Rat return Portly to his family.

Chapter 8: Toad's Adventures

Week: 32

Imprisoned in jail, Toad becomes so depressed his health suffers. The jailer's daughter takes pity on Toad and nurses him back to health. Toad and the girl become friends, and she agrees to help him escape. Toad pays the girl's aunt, a washerwoman, for a dress, an apron, a shawl, and a bonnet. Costumed in the clothing, Toad pretends to be the washerwoman and sneaks out of the jail. When Toad tries to buy a train ticket to travel home, he discovers he's left his money in his regular clothes back at the jail. A kind engine-driver allows him to ride on the train engine. Another train starts to follow Toad's train, and Toad realizes it is the police. The kind engine-driver slows the train so Toad can jump off. Toad lands unharmed and successfully evades the police. He laughs at his daring escape and sets off into the woods for home.

Chapter 9: Wayfarers All

Week: 33

With fall approaching, migrating animals prepare to travel south for the winter. Rat is unhappy that many of his animal friends will be leaving. Rat meets a seafaring rat from Constantinople. The seafarer wishes he could remain in one place, but his seafaring life of sailing the world will not let him go. The seafarer tells Rat about voyages to exotic foreign countries such as Italy and Spain. The seafarer invites Rat to travel with him. Caught within a migratory trance, Rat goes home, packs a bag, and selects a walking stick. Mole appears as Rat steps out the door. Rat says he's traveling South with the other animals. Mole realizes Rat is not himself and wrestles him back inside, where Rat collapses and begins to cry. Eventually, the spell over Rat breaks.

Chapter 10: The Further Adventures of Toad

Week: 34

After escaping prison and jumping from the train, Toad is on his way home. Still in disguise and pretending to be a washerwoman, Toad meets a barge-woman, who gives him a ride on her barge. The barge-woman asks Toad to wash her clothes. Toad tries to wash the clothes, but fails miserably. When the barge-woman realizes the washerwoman is really a toad, she tosses Toad off the barge. In retaliation, Toad steals the horse pulling the barge. Toad trades the horse to a gypsy for some money and food. As he walks down the road, a motorcar rumbles toward him. He flags it down, then realizes it is the car he was thrown into jail for stealing. The gentlemen in the car don't recognize Toad through his washerwoman disguise and give him a ride. Overcome with the desire to drive the motorcar, Toad convinces the gentlemen to let him drive. He goes wild, drives too fast, and announces himself as the Toad. The men try to grab him, but the car crashes. Toad is chased by some policemen and falls in the river. He drags himself out and sees the Water Rat.

Chapter 11: Like Summer Tempests Came His Tears

Week: 35

Rat brings Toad inside his home and admonishes him for how he has behaved. Rat tells Toad that a group of armed weasels and ferrets have taken over Toad Hall. Ignoring Rat's advice, Toad storms down to Toad Hall to get his house back and is shot at by a sentry. Next, Toad tries to approach Toad Hall with Rat's boat, but the sentries drop a big rock on the boat and sink it. Toad gives up and returns to Rat's home. Together, with Badger and Mole, they plot together to invade Toad Hall through a secret passageway.

Chapter 12: The Return of Ulysses

Week: 36

Badger, Rat, Mole, and Toad invade Toad Hall through the secret passage to the butler's pantry. They defeat the weasels and ferrets and take back the house. They hold a banquet in celebration of Toad's triumphant return for their surrounding neighbors. At the banquet, Toad turns over a new leaf and is no longer his braggy, arrogant self. Toad financially compensates those who helped him and those who he wronged. Badger, Rat, Mole, and Toad continue on to lead great lives of joy and contentment.