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Magic Tree House
Junie B. Jones
Random House
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Magic Tree House

About Lions at Lunchtime

In Lions at Lunchtime, Jack and Annie are whisked off to the vast plains of Africa, where they must solve Morgan le Fay’s third magical riddle. But that’s only the beginning! Once the riddle is solved, they still have to get past a pride of lions, a humongous herd of rampaging wildebeests, and one very hungry Masai warrior.


Classroom Connections

Activities for Lions at Lunchtime

  • Endangered Species1. In their travels, Jack and Annie learn that many animals in our worlds are threatened by extinction. Drawing on information from these stories and other sources, have students identify animals categorized as endangered species. Discuss with them factors that have contributed to the declining numbers of these animals, such as poachers, hunters, and disturbance of ecosytems. List ways in which these animals may be protected. Assign different student groups to further research interesting facts about one particular endangered species. Using library and Internet resources, students may include photos and drawings in reports for class presentation and display.

    2. Save the Gorillas!: A Letter Campaign Mountain gorillas like Bu-bu and Ho-ho, and their families in Good Morning, Gorillas are on the verge of extinction. Discuss with students the existing threats to these magnificent, creatures, including poaching, habitat destruction, and commercial hunting for meat, trophies, and zoos. Have students mount a letter campaign in which they write to animal protection groups such as The Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, The Fund for Animals, or The Doris Day Animal League on behalf of these apes and their habitat to encourage support of the Great Ape Conservation Bill signed into law by President Clinton in November 2000.


    • Geography
    • Math
    • Social Studies
    • Social Studies
    • Language Arts


  • Cultural EncountersIn addition to learning a great deal about different animals, Jack and Annie also become acquainted with diverse peoples who inhabit our world, such as the African Masai, the Australian Aborigines, the native Arctic people, the Hindus of India. Add to these the Yanomamo people of the Amazon Rain Forest, and you are ready to divide the class into five cultural teams. Using the library and Internet resources, each group should describe, as much as possible, beliefs, foods, customs, art, and myths particular to each group in illustrated reports for class presentation and display. Students may then role play “cultural encounters” between members of these different groups, expressing curiosity and interest in each other.


    • Social Studies
    • Drama


Teaching ideas by Rosemary B. Stimola, Ph.D., professor of children’s literature at City University of New York, and educational and editorial consultant to publishers of children’s books.