Sophie LeBeque is the fanciest cat in Paris. But where is Paris?
- Find Europe on a map. Then find the country of France. Next, look for Paris, the capital of France. You've found it! Paris: one fancy city for one fancy cat.
- What are some things that you know about Paris? What are some famous landmarks, monuments, and churches in Paris? One famous landmark is the Eiffel Tower. This is where Sophie was going for her photo shoot, when her silk-lined carrying case sailed from the limousine.
Creative Writing/Class Discussion: Life with a butler
A butler is the chief male servant of a household, responsible for serving meals and in charge of all the other servants.
- What would be fun about having a butler?
- What wouldn't you like about having a butler?
Class Discussion/Research: Subways around the world
Sophie LeBeque's life changed when she became lost in the metro. The metro is just another name for a subway. What exactly is a subway? It's a transportation system designed to let people travel quickly through a city. It's an underground railway, usually operated by electricity.
Discussion Question: Why would people want to move under ground rather than above ground?
Research Activity: Explore Subways.
Here are two websites that will help you explore subways:
- This is a website of the L.A. subway: http://www.metro.net
- Here are photos of beautiful subways around the world: http://metroart-subways.blogspot.com
Take a ride on the subway
Place chairs across from each other. Ride the pretend subway!
- How do you buy a ticket for the subway?
- How do you get on the subway train safely?
- What sights do you see?
- What noises do you hear?
- What do you smell?
- How do you know when the subway has arrived at your stop?
Research/Write/Draw: Animals Underground
There are many ways to get around above ground: cars, buses, taxis, horses, airplanes. But there are also ways both people and animals get around under the ground.
Activities: Choose an animal that moves or lives underground. A worm, a mole, a rabbit, a gopher, a prairie dog, a snake, and a ferret are just a few.
- Look up information about your animal in an encyclopedia, a book, or on the Internet.
- Write a page on how the animal moves and/or lives underground.
- Draw a picture of the animal underground.
Creative Writing/Class Discussion: Street musicians
Sophie's friend, Jacques, was a street musician. That is how he made money to live. In Sophie's new life as The Dancing Cat, Sophie is a street performer. She dances while Jacques plays his fiddle.
There are a lot of street musicians and performers, especially in big cities. Some of them juggle, some play violins, some sing opera, some swallow fire, some do mime, some play the trumpet. One famous street musician sings and plays the guitar as he roller-skates.
Discussion Question: If you were a street musician or street performer, what would you do? Why would you choose this activity?
Creative Writing/Art project: The thing you love the most
The thing Sophie loved most about her life at the beginning of Metro Cat was her sunroom. She loved it because that's where she did her three favorite things - ate fresh trout for breakfast, played in a catnip garden, and napped overlooking the River Seine. At the end of Metro Cat, Sophie's life has changed dramatically, but her favorite things haven't. Now what she loves most is the warm deck of a houseboat. She still has fresh trout for breakfast, but she catches the trout herself. She still has her catnip garden, but now she dances in it. She still naps in the sun overlooking the River Seine, but now she's with her friend Jacques.
Discussion Question and Writing Activity: What are your three favorite things, the things you'd always want with you, whether you were rich or poor? Write about your three favorite things and draw a picture of at least one of them.
Sophie survived in the metro by snatching up dropped pieces of food. Below you will find my personalized dictionary of some of the yummy food she found.
- Have you eaten any of these foods and pastries?
- Which is your favorite?
- Which do you think Sophie liked the most?
- Which do you think was the best food for Sophie?
Sophie's metro food
Baguette: a small narrow loaf of French bread often used for sandwiches. Delicious!
Croissant: a crescent-shaped roll of leavened dough or puff pastry. My son's favorite croissants are filled with chocolate. Yum!
Apple Tart: a small pie, with no top crust, filled with juicy apples.
Cream puff: a shell of light pastry filled with whipped cream, custard, or ice cream. I'd choose custard. Which would you choose?
Chocolate crepe: a thin, light, delicate pancake filled with chocolate. You can fill crepes with lots of things - strawberries, orange marmalade, raspberry jam. Chocolate will do for me. How about you?
Éclair: an elongated pastry filled with custard or whipped cream and iced with chocolate. An éclair is my family's absolute favorite pastry.
Quiche: a pie, usually baked with eggs, cheese, and bacon. This may have been Sophie's favorite find in the metro. Cats love all three of these foods.