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Alexander the Great

Last updated Thursday, June 5, 2014

Author: Demi
Date of Publication: 2010
ISBN: 0761457003
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2014

Synopsis: Born a prince of Macedonia in 356 BCE, Alexander the Great became one of the greatest military leaders of all time. He conquered the entire Persian Empire, defeating King Darius III four times. He invaded India, defeating a seven-foot-tall Indian king and extending the boundaries of his empire into most of Asia. Brutal in his drive for power, Alexander maintained supremacy by forcing his soldiers to marry the foreigners that they conquered. He amassed a huge fortune by plundering the riches of his enemies and married two foreign princesses, one of them King Darius III's daughter. By the time of his death at age thirty-two, Alexander had conquered most of the known ancient Greek world, a remarkable achievement in only twelve years.

Note to readers:
•  Although a picture book (with great illustrations), this book is long and you will have to hurry to finish. Note that Alexander the Great died June 3, 323 BC, (2,337 years ago). You may want to show the map at the back which shows the areas Alexander the Great conquered in 12 years—pretty impressive since there were no planes, trains or automobiles and travel was by foot, horse, camel or elephant!

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What country was Alexander the Great born in and rule? (Macedonia which is now part of Greece. The present country Republic of Macedonia is not the same)
•  Why do you think Alexander was considered great? (he conquered many countries/lands in a short amount of time)
•  Looking at the cover, what time do you think Alexander the Great lived in? (Roman or Greek—Greek times. The Roman Empire was after the Greek city states and after Alexander the Great died. The battle in the movie 300 was before Alexander the Great lived—about a 150 years before)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Does the life of Alexander the Great and his soldiers’ sound fun? Why or why not? (get lots of treasures but you are constantly fighting to the death and can never enjoy your wealth)
•  Did you read last months’ book about King Arthur? If so, what are the differences between King Arthur and Alexander the Great? Which one would you want to conquer your land? Why?
•  Would you rebel against your leader if you were fighting for 12 straight years? Would you marry the person your ruler told you to? (pg 47-53)

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Father’s Day card.
•  Draw a Greek Helmet - note that the helmet is often an animal head (see front cover, pgs 20-21).
•  Create a colorful Persian rug—a rug which depicts pictures of people/animals or battles/events. See inside cover for example.

*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!