A good lesson plan for Rikki Tikki Tavi examines the story element of character by having students discuss the figures in the story and creating graphs that list the major traits of each character. These activities help students better understand character motivation and personification.
To teach the students about character differences and motivations, have them first create a chart that lists the thoughts, actions and behaviors of major characters such as Rikki Tikki Tavi, Nag, Nagaina, Chuchundra and Darzee. While doing so, discuss what motivated each character to feel or act a certain way.
For example, why was Rikki Tikki Tavi so committed to protecting the British family? Why did Nagaina swear revenge against Rikki Tikki Tavi? Why did Darzee decide to help Rikki Tikki Tavi?
To learn about personification, have the students draw a Venn diagram that contrasts human and animal traits. Using the character chart previously created, assign each thought, action and behavior to either the human, animal or both area.
For instance, the bullying nature of the cobras can be seen as human-like. The sneaky and shy behavior of Chuchundra the muskrat can be seen as animal-like. The rage and desire for vengeance felt by Nagaina after her eggs were destroyed could fall into the 'both' category.
Allow the students to complete their charts individually or in groups before engaging in a class-wide discussion as each child may have a different interpretation of what constitutes animal behavior and what is considered human behavior. A notable example of this is the grief Nagaina feels when her mate, Nag, is killed. Do animals mourn the death of loved ones the same way that people do?
For homework, a possible assignment is to have the students write a short story that involves personified animals.