Season of the Sandstorms

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Jack and Annie travel back in time to a desert in the Middle East at the behest of Merlin who has given them a rhyme to help on their mission. There they meet a Bedouin tribe and learn about the way that they live. From camel rides and oases to ancient writings and dangerous sandstorms, here&'s another Magic Tree House filled with all the mystery, history, magic, and old-fashioned adventure that kids love to read about.
Curriculet Details
17 Questions
19 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring character traits and literal versus non-literal language, as well as annotations describing vocabulary, text to self connections and historical figures. Students will explore the themes of humility and magic. 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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Chapter 1 - The Golden Age

In Mary Pope Osborne's 34th Magic Tree House book, Merlin sends Jack and Annie back in time to a desert in the Middle East. Have you read any of the other Magic Tree House "Merlin Missions" stories? Before you begin reading, think about what you already know about deserts and the Middle East.  
In what season does the story take place?  
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? 

Chapter 2 - Nowhere

What is a "caliph"?  
The following video shows what happens during a sandstorm.  (This annotation contains a video)
Refer to the text to describe sandstorms.  

Chapter 3 - Mamoon

Read the highlighted passage describing a fruit called a date. Have you ever tried one? The image below shows a date tree.  (This annotation contains an image)
Merlin tells Jack and Annie that they must be humble to accomplish the mission. Which of the following actions do Jack and Annie take to be humble?  

Chapter 4 - Ships of the Desert

The phrase "ships of desert," which means "camels" is an example of non-literal language. When you determine the meanings of words and phrases in the text, it's important to distinguish between literal and non-literal or figurative language. The following video will explain how to do this.  (This annotation contains a video)
The camels make Jack feel _________.  
In the highlighted passage, Jack is being humble by praising the camel. As you read, look for other examples of Jack and Annie showing the trait of humility.  
Explain why Mamoon calls camels "miracles of nature." 
Quiz 1 

Chapter 5 - Bandits!

As you read, pay attention to the structure of the story. For example, how does each chapter build on the previous chapter? Have you noticed that the chapter titles give a clue about events that will take place in the chapter?  
Which the following words has the same meaning as the word "bandit"?  
As you read, it is important to pay attention to the personality traits, actions and feelings of the characters in the story. The following video will explain how to identity character traits.  (This annotation contains a video)
Pay attention to the highlighted passage and think about Mamoon's words. What does he mean when he says "learning the reasons for things is magic"?  
How do Jack and Annie keep Mamoon's treasure box safe from the bandits?  

Chapter 6 - Sandblasted

When you read, pay attention to the illustrations in a story because they reveal important details about the setting, the mood and how the characters are feeling. For example, how are Jack and Annie feeling in the illustration above?  
Describe what happens to Jack and Annie during the sandstorm.  
The highlighted paragraph gives information about the philosopher Aristotle. The image below is a sculpture of his face.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 7 - Behind the Third Wall

Which of the following sentences is not an example on non-literal or figurative language?  
Read the highlighted passage. The image below shows what a modern day bazaar looks like. How is it similar to and different from a shopping mall in America?  (This annotation contains an image)
During the Golden Age, Baghdad was known for __________.  
In the highlighted passage, Annie is bragging about how special she is. This is an example of Annie not displaying the trait of humility or being humble. Can you think of other examples of behaviors that are not humble?  

Chapter 8 - Room of the Tree

How does Aristotle's Book of Wisdom get destroyed?  
Jack and Annie have used two magical rhymes to help them with their mission. The theme of magic is evident throughout the story. Have you noticed any other themes or important lessons in the story? The following video will explain how to identify a theme or central message in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)
When Jack and Annie bow, look down and do not speak unless they are spoken to, they are exhibiting ________ behavior.  
In the highlighted passage, Jack and Annie refuse the rewards the caliph offers them in exchange for bringing him the treasured book of Aristotle. This is another example of humble behavior. What theme can you identify from this passage?  
Quiz 2 

Chapter 9 - House of Wisdom

Read the highlighted passage. Explain how Mamoon is a new friend to Jack and Annie as well as a friend they already know.   
l'Khwarizmi was an Islamic mathematician who wrote on Hindu-Arabic numerals and was among the first to use zero as a place holder. His image is below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is not something Jack and Annie can find in the House of Wisdom?  

Chapter 10 - Before the Moon Rises

Are you familiar with the book, One Thousand and One Nights? It's a collection of West and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights. There are numerous versions of this book. The image below is one of them.  (This annotation contains an image)
Refer to the illustration below, as well as the text, to describe the setting of the story.  
Read the highlighted passage. Annie thinks that the servant boy and girl who helped them accomplish their mission might have been Teddy and Kathleen. Do you agree with Annie?  
Which of the following is not a central message in the story?  

More Facts About Baghdad

As you read the facts about Baghdad, determine which facts are new information you learned from the story and which facts, if any, you knew before you read the story.  
Quiz 2