Magic Tree House
About Sunset of the Sabertooth and Sabertooths and the Ice Age: A Nonfiction Companion to Sunset of the Sabertooth
In Sunset and the Sabertooth, Jack and Annie are whisked all the way back to the Ice Age in this compelling Magic Tree House time-travel adventure where they meet woolly mammoths, cave people…and fierce sabertooth tigers!
What was it like to live in the Ice Age and why was the world so cold? Who made the first cave paintings? What ever happened to sabertooth cats and wooly mammoths? Find out the answers to these questions and more in Sabertooths and the Ice Age: A Nonfiction Companion to Sunset of the Sabertooth, Jack and Annie’s guide to unlocking the mysteries of the Ice Age!
Activities for Sunset of the Sabertooth
- Viva the Evolution!Upon entering the cave home of Cro-Magnon Man 25,000 years ago, Jack and Annie see first hand how these ancestors, from whom many believe we have descended, distinguished themselves from earlier Neanderthal Man who became extinct.Discuss with students the differences between the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era and the Ice Age of the Pleistocene Era in terms of time, climate, vegetation, human, and animal inhabitants.
Based on Jack’s note-taking techniques, have students write an “Eyewitness Report” in which they provide factual information on Cro-Magnon Man, as hunter, toolmaker, artist, and music maker as well as on the animals that lived during the Ice Age.
Activities for Sabertooths and the Ice Age: A Nonfiction Companion to Sunset of the Sabertooth
- Future Fossil FactsFossils provide researchers with information about the past. Several Internet sites give students opportunities to learn about fossils and the facts they provide.
Have students make modern fossils. First, they should select an object that represents something about modern life—a state quarter, a pen, a key, or any object that reflects modern culture in some way. Pour plaster of paris into paper muffin cups, filling the cup about halfway. When the plaster of paris begins to harden, ask students to press the object into the top. After the “fossils” are hardened, put them in a fossil bed, a container large enough to hold all of the fossils.
Students should then select a fossil that they didn’t make, and become a researcher from the future. Have them suggest what someone from the future might think the item is, and write a description for the fossil that could appear in a museum, indicating what the fossil is, and how it was used.
Search online to find more information about Sabertooth tigers
- Icy AncestorsAsk students to identify a modern day descendent of one of the animals of the Ice Age. Each child should make a reversible stick puppet that shows the Ice Age animal on one side and the modern day animal on the other. Use a wooden paint stirrer or a large tongue depressor for the stick and glue the pictures on either side. Students should write the most interesting characteristic of the animal on either side of the stick. They can introduce their animals and ancestors to their classmates, identifying their characteristics, size, habitat, enemies, and habits.
- Ivory Carvings—The Legal KindDuring the Ice Age people made carvings from ivory. Although ivory carvings are no longer legal, it legal to make carvings from Ivory soap! Have students carefully carve an Ice Age animal from a bar of soap using a plastic knife. The first step is to make an outline drawing of the animal on thin paper. Next, pin the drawing to a bar of soap. Finally, using the knife, carve around the drawing to create the animal.
- Cave DwellersThere is an extensive description of the cave that Jack and Annie enter in their adventure in Sunset of the Sabertooth . Break your class up into groups and have each one make a diorama of the cave that the characters discover. You may want to have students use papier mâché or clay to add texture to the cave and to make replicas of the animals and other details inside. Students can identify well-known caves and identify the unique features of this unusual environment. Have them compare the caves that people can visit today with those visited by Jack and Annie.
Teaching materials provided by Dr. Peggy A. Sharp, a national children’s literature consultant, and 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.