A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time

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Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series-the Magic Tree House! Jack and Annie's mission from Merlin the Magician? To help the famous writer Charles Dickens! In a magical whirl, the brother and sister are whisked back in time to Victorian England and the foggy streets of London. There, Jack and Annie discover that Charles Dickens has everything he could possibly want. How can they help him? It is not until Mr. Dickens rescues them from being thrown in jail that they discover his secret past and the sad memories that haunt him. They will need all their magic-and help from three ghosts-to keep the great writer from ruining his life! Mary Pope Osborne mixes magic, humor, history, a little spookiness, and a lot of heart to create this tale, which celebrates the joys of writing-something she knows a lot about, thanks to millions of readers all over the world! This is the perfect book for boys and girls about to see the classic play A Christmas Carol. Visit the Magic Tree House Web site! www.magictreehouse.com From the Hardcover edition.
Curriculet Details
16 Questions
20 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring the multiple meaning words and character traits, as well as annotations answering questions and understanding illustrations. Students will explore the themes of hope and adventure. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Dear Reader

Mary Pope Osborne is a popular American children's author. She writes fiction and nonfiction stories. To learn more about Mary and her books, visit her website below.  (This annotation contains a link)


How does the tree house get into the woods? 

Chapter 1 - Did You See That?

At times you are asked to prove an answer using sentences from the story. Watch this video on text-based evidence.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why is the time period to which Jack and Annie are traveling known at Victorian times? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 

Chapter 2 - Two Gentlemen from Frog Creek

From the illustration you can see the buildings are very close together. You can also see that cars are not invented yet because the vehicles in the street are horses and wagons. 
Why does Annie state, "In the past, girls didn't have many choices, did they?" 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
Use the Define feature to determine the meaning of fare. Which definition below best matches how fare is used on this page? 

Chapter 3 - Riches to Rags

Character traits are words that describe a character's personality. This video explains how to determine a character's traits.  (This annotation contains a video)
Annie is coming up with a plan to get into Mr. Dicken's home. What does this tell you about her character? 
Jack is upset that his clean, beautiful clothes are being traded for dirty, old clothes. 

Chapter 4 - Out! Out! Out!

How has the housekeeper treatment of Jack and Annie changed? 
Jack and Annie have to clean the soot, or black leftover material in the chimney. You can see in the photo below that this is a very dirty job.  (This annotation contains an image)
What information do you learn from the illustration that you do not know from reading the words? 
Here is a photograph of Charles Dickens.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz for Section One 

Chapter 5 - Stop, Thief!

What is a synonym? This song will remind you.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which word is a synonym for narrow? 

Chapter 6 - To Jail

Do you think it is fair that the police officer is taking Jack and Annie to jail? 
How could Charles Dickens help Jack and Annie? 
Jack's voice is hoarse because he is overwhelmed with emotion. 
Read this summary of Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist."  (This annotation contains a link)
Compare the story of Oliver Twist to Jack and Annie's adventure in this chapter. Include evidence of both stories in your response. 

Chapter 7 - Bah, Humbug!

What does Annie see out the window? The author provides you a detailed description so you can make a picture, or visualize, the scene. This video explains visualizing.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is the author helping you visualize by including the highlighted sentences? 

Chapter 8 - A Terrible Story

Charles does not really disappear, they just cannot see him with the fog. 
Why does the illustration have a separate picture in a bubble? 
A writer cannot write if his heart is not into it. That is why Charles was not writing in his study. 
Quiz for Section Two 

Chapter 9 - The Three Ghosts

Some words like silver have more than one meaning. This video explains multiple meaning words.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which sentence below uses form in the same way it is used in the highlighted sentence? 
Jack and Annie are telling Charles this story of his past, present, and future. They are telling it through song and music. 

Chapter 10 - A Christmas Carol

What lesson does Charles learn from the books? 
"A Christmas Carol" is a famous Charles Dickens' novel. It has been made into a movie and play. Have you ever heard of it? (This annotation contains an image)
Do you agree with Annie that you should help someone because it is the right thing to do and not because you want credit? Explain why you agree or disagree with Annie. 

Chapter 11 - Gifts to the World

The illustration below is from a different Magic Tree House book. It shows Morgan, Merlin, and Penny.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do the people only see and hear Annie and Jack? 
Do you think Jack and Annie will visit the play? 

More Facts About Charles Dickens

Quiz for Section Three