Wow! It was three months ago today that I wrote Part 1 about common themes and topics in the Magic Tree House and Time Warp Trio Series. I really like these books because they teach history and culture (the MTH series also addresses science and nature), as well as reading. Here are the other topics I gleaned from my research.
Cowboys and Indians: In the Magic Tree House Series, there are a couple of possible books to be read together with the Time Warp Trio book. Perhaps it could be the project for a group of three students. There’s Ghost Town at Sundown, where Jack and Annie go back to the Old West (1880?) and are accused of being horse thieves. In Buffalo Before Breakfast, they go back to the Great Plains almost 200 years ago and meet a Lakota Sioux boy who hunts buffalo. The activity guide for Ghost Town is here and the one for Buffalo is here.
In The Good, The Bad and The Goofy, the Time Warp Trio is transported to the Wild West. They meet the cowboys and the Indians, showing both sides of the frontier battle. This story is also available on the DVD Past, Present & Future. Even though it is discontinued by the manufacturer, you may still be able to pick one up on eBay or used on Amazon. Here is a link to the lesson plan, which has a lot of resources to go with it.
Ancient Rome and Pompeii: Vacation Under the Volcano is the Magic Tree House book that takes Jack and Annie to Pompeii – just before the volcano erupts! There are two on-line activity resources: one here and another here. But there is also a Magic Tree House Research Guide on Ancient Rome and Pompeii. Be aware that the reading level of the Research Guides is higher than that of the series books.
See You Later, Gladiator is Book 9 of the Time Warp Trio series and they go from an innocent wrestling match to the Roman Colosseum. See You Later, Gladiator was also part of the TV series, but it is on neither of the DVDs released by that company. There is a great lesson plan to go with it called Gladiators.
Ancient China: Day of the Dragon King – the only thing I don’t like so much about the Magic Tree House is that sometimes they are not precise in the stating the date. The fact that Jack and Annie go through a tomb housing clay soldiers must refer to the the terra cotta army in Xi’an. That would be sometime after 210 B.C. Here are the activities from the MTH site.
In contrast, the Time Warp Trio books and TV episodes give a timeline or date (usually) to orient oneself (Orient – get it?). Wushu Were Here, I think, is a graphic novel set in China as well. It is set in the Tang Dynasty, which is after 600 A.D. There is an interesting lesson plan resource with some cool ideas for further reading.
Vikings: Vikings are fun, right? In MTH Viking Ships at Sunrise, Jack and Annie see the Vikings attach from the island where they are land in the middle of a monastery. I think that one of the activities highlights illuminated writing, which was done by the monks at that time.
In Viking It and Liking It, the Time Warp Trio lands on Leif Ericsson’s ship. The story was also made into an episode on their series, which is available on Time Warp Trio: Passport to Adventure. The lesson plan has, among other activities, a Viking Jeopardy Game.
I still have three more to go – later!