Here are the lesson materials we used on November 29.
The Mouse Before Christmas - Michael Garland
On the night before Christmas, there was a young mouse who was stirring and whirling all though the house. He longed to see Santa that jolly old soul, so he'd stayed awake late and then crept from his hole.
Out in the kitchen, Mouse stacked up a treat: Chocolate-chip cookies for Santa to eat. He made not a sound as he hurried and scurried but Puss was asleep, he shouldn’t have worried.
Now on the fireplace- Mouse gave a sigh; Though the cookies were heave, he held the plate high. Next, where to hide? Mouse looked around quick; snug in a pot he could spy on St. Nick.
Mouse waited and wondered and almost dozed off until hoofbeats and sleighbells came from aloft. From out of the fireplace- bang, crash and tumble- popped out Nick in a heap and a jumble.
Mouse was delighted- his wish had come true. But what now? He wondered. What more could he do? As Nick stuffed the stocking which started to sag, Mouse tippy-toed near for a peek in his bag.
Soon Santa was done time to hurry away- He snatched up his sac and sprang out to his sleigh. With a swoosh and a swish, Mouse was bundled inside. But down in the darkness was no place to ride. "It's stuffy! It's crowded!" Mouse started to shout. And he squeezed, wiggled, scrambled to find his way out.
He soon spied a place to poke his head free. Then beheld all around him sights splendid to see. He was high above earth in the winter night sky. Streaking past stars in a sleigh that could fly. Mouse loved this new feeling, and when he looked down, far distant below shown the lights of this town.
On rooftops, down chimneys, old Santa did race. Mouse marveled the reindeer could keep up the pace. They soared past high mountains, skimmed low near a river. The twists, dips and turns set his tummy aquiver.
Over bridges and castles and towers they flew; the rooftops of London gave Mouse a great view. Thrilling sights waited in each foreign land. In Holland the windmills by moonlight looked grand.
Mouse had never imagined a world so wide; he lost count of the wonders he'd seen on this ride- Crossing cities and countries, over desert and sea, past the sphinx and two towers and Miss Liberty.
At the end of the night, at the very last house, Santa peeked in the sack. "Why, what’s that? A young mouse! Mouse was so startled, he feared he'd just squeak; but in Santa’s kind gaze he found he could speak. "Oh Santa, I'm sorry for sneaking this ride, but your bag was so tempting, I climbed right inside."
Santa just chuckled. "Little friend don’t you worry! Hop on my hat. You'll be home in a hurry!" Mouse clung to the fringe- the wind chilled his face. The rocket-like sleigh zoomed and hurtled though space.
Back home safe and sound there were presents for all. The one Mouse liked best was the hat marked size small. Then Santa crouched down till his beard touched the floor. The friends waved good bye though the little front door.
It was so late at night, Mouse was ready for bed, but he wanted to try his new hat on his head. It was just the right size: not too big, not too small. A hat just like Santa’s made Mouse feel proud and tall.
Mouse snuggled down, letting dreams fill his eyes. Hearing words meant for him from a voice deep and wise. "If you do all the things that a good mouse should do, don’t be surprised when your wishes come true. Merry Christmas dear Mouse, Merry Christmas to you."
Directions: Fill in the Venn Diagrams below, compare and contrast: “T’was The Night Before Christmas” and “The Mouse Before Christmas”. Each will have their own circle and the middle part will be for what you see both stories have.
If you need a copy of the Venn Diagrams, see the handout in class.
Twas the Night before Christmas Poem
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"