Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Activities

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Teaching IdeasCheck out these four projects to use with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Your students will love the crafts and videos!



Mrs. Frisby is a widow and mother of four mice. She spends her time caring for her family. Mrs. Frisby’s son Timothy becomes sick with a fever, so Mrs. Frisby goes to Mr. Ages to seek medical advice. He gives her medicine for Timothy.

Rising Action

On the return trip home from Mr. Ages’s home, Mrs. Frisby runs into a crow named Jeremy who is tangled in string. Mrs. Frisby frees Jeremy by chewing through the string. In exchange, Jeremy promises to do a favor for Mrs. Frisby.

The spring is coming early, and Mrs. Frisby is worried that her sick son will not be able to travel to the summer home before Mr. Fitzgibbon plows over their home. Jeremy says he will take Mrs. Frisby to the owl to ask for advice about the problem.

When the owl learns who Mrs. Frisby is, he tells her to go to the rats to help her move her home away from the area where Mr. Fitzgibbon plows. Mrs. Frisby soon discovers that the rats have a very advanced civilization. They agree to help Mrs. Frisby because they were friends of her late husband.

Part of the plan is for Mrs. Frisby to give Dragon, the cat, a sleeping powder, so he won’t bother them while the house is being moved. Mr. Ages goes back to his home to gather a sleeping potion for Dragon. While he is away, Nicodemus tells Mrs. Frisby the story of the rats and her husband.

The rats were captured by NIMH and taken to a laboratory. There, they were given injections to make them smarter and healthier. The rats were taught how to read. A group of mice, including Mrs. Frisby’s late husband, was also part of the experiments.

The rats escape the lab and travel for several months until they find an abandoned mansion. They spend the winter in the home, reading and studying. They decide they must move to the forested area to find caves to live in. The rats end up at Mr. Fitzgibbon’s farm.

Read the Book.

Read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to discover if Mrs. Frisby and the rats survive.


Activities for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Unit Samples

Teaching Ideas to use with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Check out Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Book Unit with these sample pages:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructed Response Question – Character Traits




Character Traits Book

Free Printables to Create a Character Traits Book

This novel has many characters. One way for students to keep them straight is to create a notecard for each character with a brief description and character traits.

This free printable helps students organize the cards. Printables are provided for students to create an eight-page book with pockets. The book has eight pockets that are divided into groups:

  • The Frisbys
  • The Fitzgibbons and their Pets
  • Animals Living Near the Frisbys
  • Jeremy
  • Owl
  • The Rats
  • Employees of NIMH
  • Other Characters

If you are looking to cut down on the number of copies used, have students illustrate the cover.  These pockets require just two sheets (or copies) of paper. Four pockets are on each printable. Note that this is an easy assembly project as no cutting is required. Just fold staple and glue and your booklet is finished.

The handout also includes cards. Using index cards in place of the provided cards will also help save using the copier.



Origami Scenes from the Story

Jeremy and Mrs. Frisby Origami Scene

Below you will find several YouTube videos showing how to create origami animals. Note: The mice are easy to create; however, I recommend having students practice with scrap paper first.

Place students into small learning groups. Have students think of a scene from the story with animals only. Each student should create one origami animal. The combined animals are then turned into a diorama like the one pictured. This is a really fun project. You could extend the project by having students write a summary of the scene to place with the diorama.


Mice and Rats





Activities from the Web

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH from Reading is Fundamental
This site contains a book trailer. You can also find interactive crossword and word search puzzles.  

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Cause-and-Effect Connections
This activity comes from The Mailbox  Magazine

The 1982 animated version of the story can be found on Netflix.


See the product that inspired this post.


Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  



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