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Ideas for Teaching with Magic Tree House Books
The Magic Tree House is a popular series of books by Mary Pope Osborne geared for children in grades one through three. Some Kindergarteners may be adept and enjoy reading them, and many fourth or fifth grade students still enjoy them as well. If your child is too young to read these independently you can read aloud to them too. I enjoyed reading many of them myself! The stories center on two children, Jack and Annie, who have a special treehouse. This treehouse allows them to magically jump into a story and partake in the time and place of the story. These adventures, which are only for Jack and his sister Annie are exciting and educational. There are corresponding books for research, and each book has a theme. I know some folks who have read these strictly in order, while a few others read them in accordance with lessons. Either will work. Our homeschool co-op offers a "Teaching with Magic Treehouse Books" class, which is a wonderful supplement to reading the books at home. The great thing about these books is that they are so popular there are many resources for teaching with them. Don't reinvent the wheel- start with the primary source for free resources- Random House publishing. This site has done all the work for you as far as basic planning goes! There are planning calendars, games, lesson plans, teacher guidelines and much more. Visit Book Adventure for quizzes that are directly comparable to Accelerated Reader comprehension tests and for Lexile levels. Create lapbooks to go alongside the books you read as well, like an Arctic themed one for "Polar Bears Past Bedtime" .
Be sure to visit Mary Pope Osborne's page at Random House Publishing for a neat "Writers Club" idea. Students can join in on the online fun or you can plan a "Writers Circle" with fellow homeschoolers. Designate a date and time monthly (or more often) where the group can meet and share stories. Give each student listener the assignment to write one positive comment about the reader's writing. Then they can share the comment aloud or the author can receive an envelope full of positive comments as a take away.
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