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A Listening Library Study Guide


A. Have the class define and discuss these terms:

critically, rumored, syllable, distinctly, introduced, interrupted, admiration, reluctantly, puzzled, murmured, earnest, reproachfully, baffled, gloated, enticingly, asphalt, awed, wickedness, delicate, scorn, infuriated, discouraged, rummaged, fascinated, responsibility, guilty, indignant, trundled, axle, alteration, scrambled, scurried, neighborhood, bewildered, scoffed, odors, ferocious, anguished, braced, gouged, forlorn, shiny, sulky, aisles, subsided, leering, stolidly, astonished, truant

Ramona the Pest

by Beverly Cleary

Ramona Quimby loves going to school because it means chasing and trying to kiss Davy, "boinging" Susan's blond ringlets, and singing about "dawnzer lee light." But when she decides her teacher Miss Binney doesn't like her anymore, she becomes a kindergarten dropout.

B. Before beginning the story, discuss with the class the following questions:

1. Do you remember what it was like to go to school for the first time? How did the older kids treat you? What was your teacher like? How did you get along with the other kids in your class? 2. Do you have a favorite teacher? What do you like about this teacher? 3. Has anyone ever called you a name, like "pest"? What does it feel like to be called a name?

she wear Howie's boots? How does she act in her new shoes? What does she do in her new boots? How does she get out of the mud puddle? How does she feel about Henry after that? 3. Complete the story with Chapters 6-8: Why does Ramona hide her mask? How do the kids tease Susan? What frightens Ramona about her costume? What does she plan to trick the tooth fairy? How is she punished for teasing Susan? Why can't she tell her father what happened? Why does Beezus laugh at her? How does this make her do? How does Ramona spend her first day home? Her second? What does Miss Binney say in her letter? What is special about the way she writes Ramona's name?

B. For Discussion:

1. Ramona is a girl who could not wait because "life was so interesting." Find examples of how she finds life interesting. In what ways does she find life difficult? What advice would you give Ramona? 2. Would you say Miss Binney was a good teacher? Give examples to support your answer. 3. What about sharing does Ramona feel adults don't understand? What are some things that just can't be shared? 4. Ramona is concerned about what boys wear and what girls wear. Why does it make such a difference to her? Does this matter in your school? Why or why not?


A. Understanding the Story:

1. Begin with Chapters 1-2: Why does Ramona feel being called a pest is unfair? Why is she unhappy to see Mrs. Kemp? What excites Ramona about the first day? What does she like about Davy? About Susan? Why does Ramona refuse to get out of her chair? What song do they sing? Describe the game of Gray Duck. What does Ramona do wrong? How is she punished? What does she bring for Show and Tell? What does she say about it? What does Miss Binney say about the bunny Howie shows? What does she give him? Why won't Ramona ride her tricycle? What does Howie offer to do? How does Ramona feel about what he does? 2. Advance to Chapters 3-5: What does Ramona try to do to Davy every morning? Why does she have trouble with seat work? What does she add to make her house drawing more interesting? How does Ramona tease Henry Huggins? Why does Ramona hide? Why won't


kindergarten, growing up, friendship, family, humor, holidays


Give wide leeway in working with partners, groups, the whole class, or alone.


A. Language Arts:

1. Ramona often misunderstand words that sound alike but have different meanings, like the way she mixes up the two meanings of "present." What are these words called? Have students think of words they often confuse, then check a dictionary for their different meanings. 2. Find a copy of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to share with students. What makes this book popular? Is it only for boys? What would girls like about this book?

Young Listener Unabridged Audio

3. Have students write about going to kindergarten. What are some fun things they learned to do? What are some problems they might have had? 4. Read the class excerpts from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. What rules do they recognize? Why does the author feel these rules have guided him throughout his life? What rules might they add to his list?

3. If your class is older than kindergarten, have them spend a day with a kindergarten class. What are some things they do? Would students still like to do some of these things? 4. Have students talk about why we are often competitive in school--trying to be the best. In what ways is this good? In what ways might it not be so good?

Theme-Related Reading and Listening:

These and other titles may be ordered from Listening Library. Additional copies of paperback books may be ordered at publisher's current prices. Call or write to order study guides for over 350 other titles.

· Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday #6 by Barbara Park · Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary · Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary · Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

B. Art and Music:

1. Have students select background music that might be appropriate to some of the scenes. They might look for sound effects recordings that have "boing" on them and lively music to capture Ramona's personality. They could find various versions of "The Star Spangled Banner" and talk about which words they might mix up the way Ramona does. They might find Halloween music like Moussorgsky's "Night on Bare Mountain" or marching music for the Halloween parade. 2. Have students make a bulletin board about the story. Have them lay out to board to show the classroom, the playground, the walk to school, and Ramona's home, then draw cartoons of the characters to show the events in the story. They could add some of the items mentioned, like a picture of a tricycle, boots for a doll, a doll, a beat-up stuffed bunny, a hand-held stop sign. Have them draw Ramona's "q's" like cats around the border. 3. Have students make cartoons or animal figures out of each letter of the alphabet. 4. Have students make up a quiz like the one Ramona takes to learn the letter "T." They could draw or find pictures of items that begin with the same letter and then put them with something that doesn't begin with that letter.

D. Science and Math:

1. Have students find out how a steam shovel works. 2. Have students learn about tools like Howie's. Why are tools useful? Which tools do they know how to use? 3. Have students learn about worms. Why do they come out when it rains? What other interesting facts can they learn about them? 4. Have students find out about teeth. Why are babies born with few teeth? When do they begin to come in? Why do we lose these teeth? 5. Ramona decides that a quarter of an hour must be twenty-five minutes. Ask students why she makes this mistake.

Other titles you may enjoy:

· Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon by Paula Danziger · Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary · Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, #7 by Barbara Park · SpongeBobTM SquarePants #3: Hall Monitor by Annie Auerbach


When it comes to teaching today's students, sometimes books are just not enough. In an increasingly technological and information-savvy world, the ability to read will be critical to every child's success. The value of audiobooks as a learning tool in the education of children is widely recognized by experts. Audiobooks bring written text to life, adding an interactive quality that can ignite a child's imagination. They encourage reading by broadening vocabularies, stretching attention spans, and fostering critical-thinking skills. Listening to audiobooks in the classroom can effectively enrich the reading experience and aid your students in understanding and appreciating literature, history, theatre arts, and more!

For a FREE school and library catalog of Listening Library's unabridged productions: · · · · · Call TOLL FREE 1-800-733-3000 FAX us at 1-800-940-7046 email us at [email protected] visit our website at or write: Books on Tape 1745 Broadway New York, NY 10019

© 2007 Listening Library

C. Social Studies:

1. Have students talk to the crossing guard at their school. What do they like about this job? What are some problems they have? Why is their job important? 2. Miss Binney teaches the class to raise their hands when they have a comment or question. Have students discuss this rule. Why is it good? What are some times when this rule can be broken?


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