Magic Tree House Book Club – Blizzard of the Blue Moon
In January’s book, Blizzard of the Blue Moon, Jack and Annie are sent to Depression Era New York City during a blizzard to rescue a unicorn in hiding. When I first read this book I was torn on what aspect of the book to use for discussion and our activities; there was just so much good stuff to choose from! So here’s how our activities went:
15 – 20 minutes – book reading and discussion
I decided to read Chapter 5 to the kids since it was the chapter that introduced what we were going to be discussing for the day, the cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Unicorn Tapestries. After we read the book I generally like to ask the kids what their favorite parts were. We briefly discussed the Depression but I didn’t want to get too much into that. I pulled up some pictures on our laptop and showed them the cloisters and most of the Unicorn Tapestries, I refrained from showing them the ones where the unicorn is getting prodded with spears.
20 minutes – group activity
One of the things that we discussed was that the tapestries were used to tell a story without words so I wanted to challenge the kids to come up with their own wordless story. We briefly discussed what a blue moon was, a full moon that occurs twice in one month, and how that it is often believed that mystical events take place during a blue moon. I also explained to them that this year, on Jan. 31st, there happens to be a super moon with a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse; an extremely rare occurrence. So their writing prompt was that they were trapped at the library during the event and some mysterious things began to happen. I put them in groups so they would have to work together to draw what they experienced during this supernatural event.
I love doing these kinds of group activities with kids because: 1) it gives them experience working as a group and 2) because together they sometimes come up with the greatest things! Afterwards, they all got to stand up as a group and tell their story (public speaking experience :)).
Okay, so this last part was a bit of a disaster. It should have taken about 10 minutes but, because of certain issues it ended up being a lot longer.
I thought that because the book was about Jack and Annie trying to get to the unicorn during a blizzard it would be fun to make snow globes. Let’s just say that this activity did not go as planned. I had “unicorns” (really plastic horses) that they could glue onto the lid of a mason jar (with SUPERGLUE) and then add water with a tiny bit of glycerin and glitter. This went wrong in sooo many ways. Note to self: do not attempt to make snow globes using superglue. Hot glue would have been much easier. For more on this epic disaster I’m going to have to create a separate post. I’ve linked it here.
Even though I felt that the snow globes were a disaster, the kids really didn’t care and they had a blast doing all the activities.
We ended with a drawing for next month’s book: Abe Lincoln at Last