The Mapmaker and the Ghost Teaching Guide About the book Goldenrod Moram loves nothing better than a good quest. Intrepid, curious, and full of a well-‐ honed sense of adventure, she decides to start her own exploring team fashioned after her idols, the explorers Lewis and Clark, and to map the forest right behind her home. This task is complicated, however, by a series of unique events—a chance encounter with a mysterious old lady has her searching for a legendary blue rose. Another encounter lands her in the middle of a ragtag gang of brilliant troublemakers. And when she stumbles upon none other than the ghost of Meriwether Lewis himself, Goldenrod knows this will be anything but an ordinary summer . . . or an ordinary quest. Debut author Sarvenaz Tash combines an edge-‐of-‐your-‐seat adventure, a uniquely clever voice, and an unforgettable cast of characters to prove that sometimes the best adventures of all are waiting right in your own backyard. Ages: 8-‐12 Grades: 3-‐7 About the author Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional Tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her online at www.sarvenaztash.com. Skype and/or local classroom visits can also be arranged. About the teaching guide The Mapmaker and the Ghost is a humorous adventure story that incorporates several historical figures as well as topics pertinent to social studies, science, geography, art and more. Below are some suggestions of activities and discussion questions that can go along with reading the book in a classroom. If you are a teacher using this guide and have suggestions or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mapmaking / Math Discussion Question: What are the five parts of a map? Activities: I. It’s time to create your own map! You’ll need: -‐ graph paper -‐ tape measure -‐ pencil 1. Pick a small space like a part of your classroom, your bedroom or yard. 2. Come up with a legend that will include symbols for the things that are in your space. 3. Begin taking measurements. Make sure you measure the whole area as well as the distance between objects in your space. 4. Come up with a scale that makes sense for your map. For example, 1 foot might equal 1 inch. 5. Sketch out your map using the gridlines of your paper as a guide. Use your scale to make sure things are accurately portrayed. Use your legend to depict the objects that are in your space. 6. Don’t forget that your map also needs a title and a compass rose! Other variations: Use clay to create a topographical map.
Social Studies (Lewis and Clark) Activities: I. Below is a list of some of the flora (plants) and fauna (animals) that Lewis and Clark discovered. Pick two and write up a short report on each including their properties, characteristics and uses (in the case of plants). Include a photo (or draw one as Lewis and Clark might have done!).
Flora: -‐ Black Greasewood -‐ Blue Flax -‐ Curly-‐Top Gumweed -‐ Fringed Sagebrush -‐ Gumbo Evening Primrose -‐ Snow-‐on-‐the-‐Mountain -‐ White Milkwort -‐ Wild Alfalfa
Fauna: -‐ Black-‐Tailed Prairie Dog -‐ Grizzly Bear -‐ Swift Fox -‐ Mule Deer -‐ White-‐Tailed Jackrabbit -‐ Lewis’s Woodpecker -‐ Clark’s Nutcracker -‐ Trumpeter Swan -‐ Western Rattlesnake -‐ Blue Catfish -‐ White Sturgeon II. Write up a short profile of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark or Sacagawea as it might appear on an “explorer card.” Include their dates of birth and death, some stats about what they discovered and/or were responsible for during the journey, and a fun fact about them. III.
Map from www.lewisclark.net
Map from www.lewisandclarktrail.com
Pick a state that was explored by Lewis and Clark during their Corps of Discovery expedition: Delaware Maryland Virginia Pennsylvania Ohio West Virginia Kentucky Indiana Illinois Missouri Kansas Nebraska Iowa South Dakota North Dakota Montana Idaho Washington Oregon What are some of that state’s geographical and natural properties: bodies of water, mountains, deserts? What is the state animal? What is the state flower? IV. Sacagawea was a Native American of the Shoshone tribe. Read up on this tribe and write up a short report about their geographic location, language and culture.
Further Reading: Books: How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark by Rosalyn Schanzer Lewis and Clark for Kids by Janis Herbert Websites: National Geographic: Lewis & Clark www.nationalgeographic.com/lewisandclark/ Lewis & Clark’s Historic Trail www.lewisclark.net Films: Lewis & Clark – The Journey of the Corps of Discovery by Ken Burns www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/
Science (Tesla and Alternative Energy)
Activities: I. Below is a list of some of the items invented by Brains’ hero, Nikola Tesla. Pick one and find out how it is used today. -‐ Fluorescent Lighting -‐ Tesla Coil -‐ Tesla Induction Motor -‐ AC (Alternating Current) Electrical Supply -‐ Radio II. In his lab, Brains is trying to come up with methods of alternative energy. Pick either solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy or hydro energy. How do they each work? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Further Reading: Books: 10 Inventors Who Changed the World by Clive Gifford Legacy: The Life of Nikola Tesla by Norma Brody Websites: EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) Energy Kids www.eia.gov/kids/ Field Trips: Many science museums have energy exhibits that could help supplement the ideas brought up in the book in a fun and interactive way. The museum that plays a part in
The Mapmaker and the Ghost was inspired by the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Language Arts Discussion Questions: 1. Pick two characters from the book and name three of their strongest character traits. How do these traits serve them in the story? 2. Cassandra Lewis tells Goldenrod that she was “the right girl” for the quest. Why do you suppose that is? What are the qualities Goldenrod possesses that are similar to Meriwether Lewis? 3. The Mapmaker and the Ghost is told from alternating points of view, meaning sometimes you’ll be seeing things from Goldenrod’s perspective, other times from Birch’s or someone else’s. Find two passages that are told from two different characters’ points of view. 4. If you could meet the ghost of any famous person from history, whom would you pick? What are three questions you’d ask them? Writing Exercises: 1. Write a scene that starts off being told from one character’s point-‐of-‐view. It can be in either first or third person. Then, write a follow-‐up scene that is told from the point-‐of-‐view of another character. 2. Goldenrod is a character who loves maps and geography yet the author of The Mapmaker and the Ghost counts geography as one of her worst subjects. Make up a main character who has a hobby or characteristic that is completely different from your own. What are some of the things you may need to research to write this character properly? What are some of the things about the character that will be similar to you anyway?
Art / Just for Fun Activities: I. Goldenrod creates a symbol for her crew, the Legendary Adventurers. If you had a crew of explorers, what would your name be? Draw your symbol.
II. Besides being a mapmaker, Goldenrod is also an excellent sandwich-‐maker. Come up with a recipe for a new sandwich. If possible, make it or draw it. How does it taste? Is there something you would change if you made it a second time? III. Make up a cookie recipe. Draw what your cookie would look like. Discussion Question: If you were a member of Spitbubble’s Gross-‐Out Gang, what would your nickname be?
Published on Apr 18, 2012
This is a companion teaching guide to middle grade novel THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST by Sarvenaz Tash. The guide has suggested activities and...