Monday, April 13, 2009

Book #17: Tonight on the Titanic

Jack and Annie board the doomed ship to collect the first of four gifts they need to break a spell.

In this second-to-last MTH book before summer, I had my trivia ready, but we didn't get to do it. Why? We were busy doing Morse Code! Morse Code, you say, however did you accomplish such a task? Well, here is how:

I gave everyone a copy of the Morse Code alphabet. Using a flashlight, everyone who wanted to had the opportunity to spell out a word in Morse Code for the rest of us to guess. I was told the word in advance, and spelled it out on the white board as we got each letter correct. It was harder than you'd think, at first, but definitely got easier as we went along! We learned some Morse Code because that is, of course, what the radio operator on the Titanic used to send the distress signal. Nearly everyone wanted to try it!

Though we ran a little later than usual, we did get to our craft, and anyone who didn't finish there took supplies home with which to complete it. The craft we did was a very modified version of the shadowbox craft I found on this site.


small white photo mats
photocopies of Titanic era newspaper article (any Titanic related articles available online)
markers/crayons/colored pencils
glue sticks
self-stick foam shapes (sea-themed and letters)
brown paper bags
self-stick magnets

Cut to size and glue the newspaper reproduction behind the matting so the print faces out of the mat. Decorate with any writing or nautical theme you like. The paper bags can be used to give the mat an older look and feel. Place self-stick magnets on the back so you can hang your craft on the fridge or other magnetic surface.

Join us on Wednesday, May 13th, for the last Magic Tree House Book Club before summer vacation, featuring book #18, Buffalo Before Breakfast. Don't forget to register!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book #16: Hour of the Olympics

Jack and Annie travel to Ancient Greece and the time of some of the very first Olympic games.

For this round of our Magic Tree House book club, we began with a game of Olympic Bingo, using the themed bingo cards found here.

Then, after talking a little about what we liked (Pegasus!) and didn't like (girls couldn't do anything in ancient Greece!) about the book, we moved on to trivia. Find the questions and answers here.

Finally, we made sport/team - themed pennants as a craft using colorful paper that I had cut beforehand in to triangular pennant shapes, self-stick foam shapes, and markers.

Join us on Wednesday, April 8th, for the next Magic Tree House Book Club, featuring book #17, Tonight on the Titanic. Don't forget to register!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Book #15: Viking Ships at Sunrise

Jack and Annie visit Ireland in the time of the Vikings, for an adventure that takes place on land and at sea!

Find the scintillating trivia for this month's book here: quiz me!

Something that we learned from this book was that the Vikings had their own alphabet...the Runic alphabet or Futhark (say: Foo-thark). This alphabet was a series of symbols which stood for letters, as well as Norse gods, goddesses, or other things. Many people are still interested in these symbols, or Runes, today. Everyone in attendance received a sheet with the Runic symbols written on it and, next to each symbol, the letter and other meanings for which it stood. Since I wrote the symbols in by hand, they are not available here, but print out your own sheet and write in the symbols using the websites cited at the end of the handout.

For this month's craft, we made Viking shields. We did this simply, using paper plates, colored paper, markers and colored pencils, and glue sticks. Our designs were inspired in part by these beautiful pictures of Viking shields, and in part by our own imaginations.

Join us on Wednesday, March 11th, for the next Magic Tree House Book Club, featuring book #16, Hour of the Olympics. Don't forget to register!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Book #14: Day of the Dragon King

Jack and Annie travel to ancient China to rescue a book from the Dragon King himself!

For the fourteenth book of the Magic Tree House series, after talking about some of the things we liked (the tomb!) and some of the things we didn't like (the book burning!) about the book, we changed things up a bit by playing a game before doing trivia.

Prior to the meeting, I cut out of red construction paper the words of the first twenty titles of the Magic Tree House series. Then I did the same thing with blue construction paper. The red team and the blue team each had the task of assembling the correct titles from the words and, hopefully, getting the twenty titles in the proper order. (As they are here.) Both teams did a stellar job and received prizes in the form of candy.

Next, of course, we did book-related trivia. The questions and answers can be found here!

Finally, we made a craft devised by your very own librarian, Miss Amanda. I am referring to this craft as the Chopstick Dragon Mobile and the instructions for creating it are as follows:


Several colors of construction paper (you choose the colors)
Googly eyes
A single-hole punch


1. Pick a color and cut your dragon out of construction paper in a spiraly shape. Such as this. Be sure to begin narrowly at one end for the tail and end wide and rounded at the other end for the head. You can also cut a wedge shape out of the head to represent the mouth.
2. Make some dragon feet and dragon tongues from construction paper in your choice of colors. I simply cut forked tongues such as you would for a snake and created feet using the shape from an online picture of a dragon as an example.
3. Attach the feet and the tongue and add some googly eyes. You can create spikes or wings from construction paper and glue them on or draw on scales with markers. That's the great thing about dragons...they can look however you want them to look.
4. Use the hole punch and punch one hole at the top (presumably the head) of your dragon.
5. Tie a piece of string through the hole.
6. Tie the other end of the string to the chopstick.
7. Voila! A spiraly dragon mobile that looks really cool when you hang it. :) (It's like this , except it's a dragon.)

I completed steps 1 and 2 prior to the program, putting one dragon body, four feet, one tongue and one chopstick in a paper bag for each child. They assembled and decorated their dragons, cutting their own spikes or drawing their own scales if they wished. Finally, I punched the holes and tied the mobiles for them.

Join us on Wednesday, February 11, for the next Magic Tree House Book Club, featuring book #15, Viking Ships at Sunrise. Don't forget to register!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Book #13: Vacation Under the Volcano

Jack and Annie discover the danger of Pompeii, in their first adventure as Master Librarians!

For this installment of our book club, we first completed a fill-in-the-blank Q&A together. Find the fill-ins here!

The answers to the fill-ins were part of a double puzzle created through Puzzlemakers. Individually, everyone completed their word scrambles, and used the numbered letters to fill in the final phrase..."When in Rome, do as the Romans do!"

Finally, our craft was building mini-volcanoes! Everyone received a miniature plastic bottle. They used the bottle as a mold, around which to put clay, creating the perfect volcano shape. By leaving the mouth of the bottle open, the volcano could be activated (at home) by adding baking soda and vinegar. Lava and laughs will ensue!

Join us on Wednesday, January 14th for the next Magic Tree House Book Club, featuring book #14, Day of the Dragon King. Don't forget to register!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book #12: Polar Bears Past Bedtime

Their magic tree house takes Jack and Annie to the Arctic...where they get on thin ice with a polar bear.

Well, it's hard to believe we've done twelve months of Magic Tree House, but we have. For our twelfth meeting, we were lucky enough to have Bronwyn Llewellyn of the World Wildlife Fund come from Washington DC to talk to us about polar bears and polar bear conservation. She showed us a plastic-cast of a full size polar bear head, real polar bear claws, and a bunch of other cool stuff, along with a Powerpoint featuring photos of some of the work done by the WWF to help track and save the recently endangered polar bear. She told us about some of the things that are currently harming the polar bear and we learned what we can do to help, including how we can participate in Earth Hour . At the end everyone received stickers, WWF decals, and pens.

Join us on Thursday, December 11th for the next Magic Tree House Book Club, featuring book #13, Vacation Under the Volcano. Don't forget to register!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Book #11: Lions at Lunchtime

The Magic Tree House takes Jack and Annie to Africa to solve another riddle!

For this meeting, I made a crossword puzzle using Discovery's Puzzlemaker website. We all did the crossword (clues and answers derived from the book!) together, and then some chose to do a word search also created with Puzzlemaker.

The craft we did was a clothespin lion. The idea was derived from this craft idea for lion and lamb note holders.

All of the supplies we used are available at your local craft store, and they were:

- straight, non-clipping clothespins (2 per kid)
- heavy stock paper out of which I pre-cut lion heads (1 per kid)
- googly eyes (2 per kid)
- colored pencils and markers (to draw in faces)
- yellow yarn (to create mane)
-glue (to put it all together)

1. Draw a face on the lion.
2. Glue on googly eyes and mane if you wish.
3. Glue the clothespins on to the back of the lion head so that the "legs" of the clothespins are lined up and the lion could reasonably be expected to stand.

Join us on Thursday, November 13th for the next Magic Tree House Book Club, featuring book #12, Polar Bears Past Bedtime. Don't forget to register!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Book # 10: Ghost Town at Sundown

Jack and Annie visit the old West, and get one step closer to becoming Master Librarians!

Ghost Town at Sundown Trivia Q & A!

After our trivia, we also created Magic Tree House Passports, borrowed from the Random House Magic Tree House website.

And, finally, we did an easy craft, easing us back into the bookclub: we made cartoon strips of the Ghost Town at Sundown story. The drawings featured horses, cowboys, and of course, Jack and Annie. A very easy project you can do at home to recreate any story or make up your own!

Join us on Wednesday, October 22nd for the next Magic Tree House Book Club, featuring book #11, Lions at Lunchtime. Don't forget to register!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Book #9: Dolphins at Daybreak

Jack and Annie's seaside adventure on their quest to become Master Librarians.

Game! Dolphins at Daybreak Trivia Q&A

Craft! We created sand art using colored sand, small shells, and plastic dolphin shaped bottles. All of these supplies (plus the funnels which made pouring the sand into the bottles possible) are available at Michaels and Ben Franklin's.

Snack! Unprecedented in MTH Book Club history, we had a fun snack in honor of Dolphins at Daybreak being our last book club book until September. We had sea-themed Jello sundaes. The berry flavored blue Jello was pre-made in styrofoam cups, and each Jello also contained two red Swedish Fish candies . Spraying of whipped cream, sprinkling of rainbow sprinkles, and adding of further Swedish Fish ensued, much to the snackers' delight.

Enjoy summer, participate in Summer Reading, and see you in the fall for further Magic Tree House adventures! :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Coming Up!

Dolphins at Daybreak Magic Tree House Book Club AND pre-summer party!

Join us (be sure to sign up!) on Wednesday, May 28th at 4:00PM for a splashingly good time! We will be making a very cool craft, playing some fun sea-themed party games, and enjoying ourselves as we say farewell to the MTH Book Club until September!