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Eve of the Emperor Penguin



Last updated Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 375837337
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2010

Synopsis: JACK AND ANNIE continue their quest for the secrets of happiness—secrets they need to save Merlin. This time, the Magic Tree House takes them to the one continent they haven’t visited before: Antarctica! What can they hope to learn about happiness in such a barren place? Only the penguins know for sure . . . Jack and Annie are about to find out!

Note to readers:
•  Read prologue, 1st and 2nd Chapters. If your kids are really into the book, you may choose to read the entire time. Finish as much of the book as you like.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Read Prologue
•  Have you ever heard of Merlin?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  CHAPTER 1:
•  What season is it? (clue: raking leaves)
•  Do you know where Antarctica is? What do you know about Antarctica? (Turn to page 106 for facts.)
•  What is an Emperor Penguin? (pg. 108 for facts.)
•  Write the poem on the board and try to decipher its meaning.
•  What are the "Rules of the Wand," what would your wish be?
•  CHAPTER 2:
•  Are you more like Annie or Jack when you are trying something new?
•  Do you like to plan your trip and read ahead of time or just jump right in?
•  At the end of Chapter 2:
•  What special clothing and equipment do they have? Why do they need it?
•  How cold do you think it is there? Have you ever been anywhere that cold.
•  How does Jack know they haven't gone back in time?
•  What do you think the "Fourth Secret of Happiness" is?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a penguin out of construction paper
•  Write your own poems with clues to your 4 secrets of happiness. Draw pictures to illustrate your poem.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!