10 Reasons to LOVE the Magic Tree House Series

This is one of my all time favorite children's series. EVER. I use this series in my classroom in so many different ways and I have been reading through them with my four-year-old. The fact that he will sit and listen attentively and ultimately fall asleep to each night is a blessing.

If you have never read the series, let me give you a little background. The series is based on a brother-sister duo, Jack and Annie, who live in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. They stumble across a tree house in the woods and discover they can magically travel through time (Past, Present, and Future) by using books inside the tree house. Eventually they help a magical enchantress, Morgan le Fay and a wizard Merlin preserve magic and history for Camelot.

Still not convinced? This is the top ways you can utilize this series in your classroom.
  1. Read Alouds. As I mentioned before, I use these in my classroom and with my children at home. Before you go and say 4-5 year-olds won't sit and listen. They will. Trust me. I read the first 25 books with my kindergarteners for years. They literally sat on the edge of their seats waiting to find out what happened. My son simply adores the series. He is working on his speech and this series has presented an expansive vocabulary to him in a captivating way.
  2. Beginning Chapter Book Readers. Are your little darlings ready to stretch their wings and begin to read on their own? This series is great for captivating their attention, using simple sight words BUT throwing some challenge words into the mix as well.
  3. Vocabulary/ELA. We've all heard it. They need more vocabulary. They need to be submersed in it. This series offers such a wide range of vocabulary you could work on the entire book for 2 weeks and have 15-30 new words to focus on. Check out my Magic Words: Read the Room sets for different vocabulary ideas {HERE}. I also have created a NO PREP line for the first 11 books in the series. The first 10 are in a bundle. They cover phonics and grammar standards for K-2 while using vocabulary and topics found in each book. Check them out {HERE}
  4. Writing. Oh.My. The possibilities are endless. Do you want to work on poetry, creative writing, informative writing, persuasive writing, grammar, letters, etc.? No matter what you want your little ones to write, there is a way to incorporate this series.
  5. Text Features. I love how Mary Pope Osborne has included the captions in the text in bold face print. You can use time lines, captions, illustrations, maps, etc. while reading each adventure.
  6. Non-Fiction. There are so many different topics this series touches on: biomes, landforms, food webs/chains, animals, ancient civilizations, different cultures.
  7. History. My all time favorite book in the series is Tonight on the Titanic because I had a distant relative who was on the ship. At one point there was a fantastic exhibit with actual artifacts taken from the wreckage in Tampa, FL. That was years ago but well worth the money if anyone ever gets a chance to go. Your kids can learn about the Civil War, the Revolutionary War. They can meet famous inventors like Albert Einstein and presidents like George Washington and Abe Lincoln.
  8. Geography. One of the best lessons I have ever done is when my kindergarten team took Afternoon on the Amazon to the extreme. We pained our hallway to look exactly like a rainforest. I'm talking rocks and water on the floor with pihranas. Jungle vines and birds hanging from the ceiling. A volcano and waterfall painted on the stairwell door and elevator. We used the idea from Flat Stanley and got Polly the Parrot (introduced in the book Pirates Past Noon) to fly all over the world and send postcards. We used a large word map and tracked her progress. That year we got nearly 100 postcards from all over the US, Afghanistan, India, Ireland, the Caribbean, Africa, Mexico, France, England, and so many other places. At the end of the unit, we had our kids choose a location Polly visited and do a large writing project. Check out my interactive notebook on biomes {HERE}
  9. Science. There are so many different wants to incorporate science into the series. One of my favorite lessons was when my class read Mummies in the Morning and I had them actually prep a mummy for burial. Check out the lesson for more details{HERE}. Want to include animals and geography studies? Check out my animal interactive notebooks {HERE}
  10. Captivating. I would not waste so much of my time on a series that I didn't enjoy so much. I was first introduced to the series as a teenager when my mom was trying to get my younger sister to read. I completely forgot about the series until I was student teaching and my first grade class was reading Night of the Ninjas. Children will love the characters. Annie is a free spirit and adventurous. Jack is methodical and cautious. But the two siblings balance each other out while learning and having fun at the same time.
So there you have it my friends. Ten different reasons why I think this series is a MUST READ in primary classrooms. I'd love to hear which book is your favorite and how you use the series with your kiddos!

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