A Novel Study Unit
Submitted by: Karen Ehman
Dick King-Smith is my favorite author of animal fiction for kids. I have group sets of 8 of many of his books and have developed activities to accompany them. Here's one of my favorites. Enjoy!
MARTIN'S MICE NAME_________________
In 5 words or less, write your own definition for each word. Be sure its meaning makes sense on the page number in parentheses.
1. ambush (1)
2. scrumptious (23)
3. mused (4)
4. omnivorous (29)
5. intellectual (16)
6. umpteen (67)
7. confidently (65)
8. cobbled (62)
9. contemptuous (56)
10. semidarkness (54)
11. possessed (54)
12. mesmerized (51)
13. unsheathed (95)
14. squabbling (48)
15. subdued (47)
Part 2 Discussion Questions
1. What do you learn about animals and their habits from this book?
2. Do you think that Dick King-Smith has any pets? Why or why not? What kinds of animals would he have as pets?
3. In what ways does Martin show that he is an unusual cat?
4. Could a cat keep mice for pets? Why or why not? Could any other animals do so?
5. How did Martin learn the most about being a pet?
6. What role did Pug have in the story? How did he help Martin learn more about life?
7. Who taught Martin the most about life? Give examples of the lessons that character taught him.
8. Why did the animals consider Martin stupid? Was he? What is the difference between stupid and ignorant?
9. Why did the author give the pig such a big vocabulary?
10. What similarities do you see in this book and the other(s) you have read by this same author?
11. What made this book funny?
12. Did you like Drucilla? In what ways was she like a human mother?
13. How did Drucilla choose names for her children? How did that help them in the future?
14. Humans had very small parts in this story. Why did the author include them at all?
15. In what ways did Martin show that he was a good pet "owner"? Did he fail his pets in any way?
16. Were there any characters in this story that you didn't like? Which one(s)? What made they reader unfriendly? How was Martin able to cope with them?
17. Names of animals in this book were interesting. How so?
Part 3 - Post-reading Activities
MARTIN'S MICE NAME_______________________
Choose one of these activities and complete it to share.
1. Write an adventure story about one of Drusilla's children. Be sure to give this main character a name.
2. Build a model of the next Drusilla built in the bathtub.
3. Write an interview between a cat and one of the other characters in this book.
4. Design a family tree for Drusilla's ancestors and descendants.
5. Make a baby book of names for mice. Be creative.
6. Create the sequel to Martin's story.
7. Write a 5 verse poem about life on the farm.
8. Free choice
9. Build a diorama of a scene from the book.