Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Genie Unit Study

Thing One has been reading Dragonball Z books for a while now. After reading about the character Majinn Buu, he was interested to learn more about jinns (or djinn or genies). So I've been putting together a quick unit study.

The Arabian Nights retold by Neil Philip (I would suggest this for older children 10+, or preview it to see if it is appropriate for your family. It deals frankly with sex, violence and is written from a Muslim perspective.)
Arabian Nights: Three Tales retold by Deborah Nourse Lattimore (more friendly for younger children)
The Unce Upon a Time Map Book: Take a Tour of Six Enchanted Lands by B.G. Hennessy (includes a map of Aladdin's kingdom)
Grandmothers' Stories: Wise Woman Tales from Many Cultures retold by Burleigh Muten (includes a story about a Senegalese Djinn and a midwife)
The Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Eric A. Kimmel
Be a Genie in Six Easy Steps by Linda Chapman and Steve Cole (this is a 326 page novel appropriate for older kids)
The Genie in the Book by Cindy Trumbore (118 page novel more appropriate for a read aloud)

Here is a very useful list of Aladdin movies on IMDb.
Scooby Doo and the Arabian Nights
There are also tons of versions of Arabian Nights and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves available.

Mapwork of Muslim countries
Discussion of Islam, the Koran and what Muslims believe about jinn
After reading many stories about genies, I had Thing One compare and contrast descriptions and make drawings of what he imagines a genie to look like.
If you had three wishes, what would they be?

I think our most fun craft was Meringue Genies (borrowed this idea from

Ours turned out really cute! I halved the recipe. The recipe doesn't specify how much cream of tartar. I just put in a pinch. We used raisin eyes and red sugar sprinkles (because that is what we had in the pantry).

You could put together a fun notebooking or lapbooking project or even a poster. I am considering expanding this unit study to include Sinbad the Sailor as well.


  1. For music, you could use the Beastie Boys, but probably not for younger kids.

  2. Don't forget Christina Aguilera's classic "Genie in a Bottle."