Earthquake in the Early Morning Lesson Plan
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
Subject Area: Social Studies, Language Arts
Reading Level: 2.5
Jack and Annie's latest adventure in their magic tree house takes them back to San Francisco on the morning of the 1906 earthquake. Can they find the writing they need to help a magical librarian named Morgan le Fay save the enchanted land of Camelot? Or will San Francisco be destroyed first?
Students will be introduced to a tragic yet intriguing slice of American history, the great San Francisco Earthquake. They will also learn new vocabulary words and terms.
Standard: Students will gain an understanding of the history of a local community and how communities in North America varied long ago.
The History of My Town
Earthquake in the Early Morning explores a period of San Francisco's history. Help students gain an understanding of the history of their own city or town.
- In their travels, Jack and Annie meet up with Betty and Fred, a reporter and photographer covering the earthquake. Divide your class into two-member teams.
- Ask each team to research events of interest in your own city or town and then report on one event that interests them. They might start by interviewing parents, grandparents, or other older family friends.
- Depending on the abilities of your students, you may also ask them to do a search through old newspapers at a local library.
- Ask each team to get the five Ws of reporting: who, what, when, where, and why.
- On a specific day, ask each team to present their findings to the rest of the classroom.
- Have a class discussion about the reports. Did many teams cover the same events? Which event occurred earliest in the town's history? Which occurred most recently? How have the events changed or shaped the town's history?
Jack and Annie have a memento of their trip — the photo Fred took of them holding the poem written by two brothers. Help your students create poetry about an event in their town's history.
- Ask students to pick one event from their town or city's history (drawing from the results of the activity above).
- Have each student write a brief poem about the event. They may choose to write a description of the event, an emotional response to the event, or a hopeful message.
- Ask each student to draw a picture of the chosen event.
- One by one, have each student read his or her poem aloud to the class.
- Post the poems, and their artwork, on a classroom bulletin board.
I Have a Plan
Jack and Annie encounter two men trying to save items of special import. One man tries to save library books and another saves money from a bank.
- Talk about these two men and their heroic actions.
- Ask your students to think about what item or items they might try to save if they had to hurriedly evacuate the school.
- Have each student prepare a brief report on what they might take and why.
- Encourage students to think of creative ways to achieve their goal (the bank manager sent money down to barges on the Bay).
- Discuss each student's report as a class.
The book concludes with several pages of factual information about earthquakes.
Other Books About Times Long Ago
Magic Tree House books #1-23
by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie travel to various points in history, having grand adventures every step of the way!
The Time Warp Trio series
by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Best friends Fred, Sam, and Joe have wacky encounters as they bounce through various historical periods.
The Little House on the Prairie books
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The best-loved series follows the adventures of Laura Ingalls, her two sisters, and her Ma and Pa as they make a pioneer life together.
Teaching Plan by Rebecca Gomez.