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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 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  


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.  

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  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   Lewis  &  Clark’s  Historic  Trail     Films:   Lewis  &  Clark  –  The  Journey  of  the  Corps  of  Discovery  by  Ken  Burns  

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     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?                  



This is a companion teaching guide to middle grade novel THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST by Sarvenaz Tash. The guide has suggested activities and...

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