In a previous post, I wrote about chapter books. In particular, I wrote about the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne and the Time Warp Trio Series by Jon Scieska.
Magic Tree House and Time Warp Trio common themes:
Knights and Castles: The MTH series has kind of a connection with Camelot and Medieval England, because they communicate with Merlin the Magician, and – I think – Morgan La Fey. Therefore, we have The Knight at Dawn and Christmas in Camelot to work with – I think that The Knight at Dawn is probably more relevant. There is also a MTH Research Guide called Knights and Castles available. The two activity sheets – here and here – are pretty basic.
As far as knights and castles are concerned, The Time Warp Trio has a book called The Knights of the Kitchen Table, but there are no lesson plans to go with it because the lesson plans are only for the TV series episodes. There is, however, a book and episode about Medieval Scotland called Plaid to the Bone in graphic novel form. So, if you feel like doing some activities about Medieval Scotland, check the lesson plan out.
Ancient Egypt: MTH has a book called Mummies in the Morning, where Jack and Annie visit ancient Egypt. There is a Research Guide called Mummies and Pyramids to go with the book. An activity page to go with the book can be found here, and one to go with the Research Guide is here. If you scroll down, there are some possible activities described for each book, as well as a link to the worksheets.
The TWT counterpart is called Tut Tut – cute, huh? – where the guys go to (guess) ancient Egypt. There is also an episode called Tut Tut in the TV series, which means that there are lesson plans to go with it. The lesson plans on the Time Warp Trio website are much more involved that the Magic Tree House activities and lesson plans, but both offer other resources that are useful.
Arrrrgh! Pirates: In Pirates Past Noon, Jack and Annie run afoul of the mythical Cap’n Bones. The Research Guide, called simply Pirates, goes into more detail and chronicles some of the more infamous pirates. It has some great illustrations and a timeline with the history of piracy. I don’t seem to have a link to the activities for Pirates Past Noon, but here is a link to the activities for the Research Guide.
In The Not-So-Jolly-Roger, the Time Warp Trio (Joe, Sam, and Fred) accidentally travel back to the early 18th century and meet Blackbeard. It’s a little more exciting than MTH, but then, it’s supposed to be. These books are written on a higher reading level, as well. The series episode is also called The Not-So-Jolly-Roger and is available on the Passport to Adventure DVD – if you would like to show it. The lesson plans are here.
Ninja and Samurai – 17th Century Japan: MTH’s Night of the Ninjas, Jack and Annie travel back to Ancient Japan, and find themselves in the cave of a ninja master This could be any time between the 14th and the 17th centuries, according to our ninja sources. In Dragon of the Red Dawn, they travel to 17th century Japan, to the city of Edo. There, they meet Basho – a (haiku) poet – there’s more information on page 107 of the book. There is no Research Guide to go with this era, but is are activities for Ninja here, and Dragon here.
In TWT’s Sam Samurai, the boys also travel to 17th century Japan. Keeping with the “haiku” theme, Joe, Sam, and Fred are writing haikus for English class. When they take a break, they get transported and meet some surly samurai warriors. Since an episode of the series was also based on Sam Samurai, there are nifty lesson plans that may fill in the gap left by no MTH Research Guide.
Neanderthals and the Ice Age: In MTH’s Sunset of the Sabertooth, Jack and Annie are transported to the Ice Age – in their bathing suits!!! This book comes with a Research Guide called Sabertooths and the Ice Age. The book also covers Neanderthals and other animals of the Ice Age. Here is a link to activities to go with the book and here is one that goes with the Research Guide.
The Time Warp Trio also has a book where they visit the Ice Age. It is called Your Mother was a Neanderthal. For some reason, they changed the name for the TV series episode. It’s called The Caveman Catastrophe. Here are the lesson plans that accompany the episode.