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In Marlow Brown; Magician in the Making, Marlow tests out her skill and ability, persistence and resilience, when it comes to mastering the art (or science) of illusions! This show-stopping, hilarious tale by Kesta Fleming, combined with the energetic illustrations by Marjory Gardner, empowers readers to conjure up their own bag of tricks; full of learning opportunities, and a bit of fun trial and error. Here are just a few ideas to follow your reading of Magician in the Making

Discussion and Activities

Before Reading Questions –

Look at the cover of Marlow Brown; Magician in the Making. What do you see? What words can you use to describe this character?

What magic tricks can you think of? Make a list.

Do you like to perform magic tricks? Which ones? Tell a friend how one of them works.

What does the word ‘illusion’ mean?

After Reading –

What did you learn about Marlow? How did she change throughout the story? Can you add to the list of adjectives or describing words about Marlow?

How did Mervin the Magical inspire and help Marlow to become a magician?

How did Marlow react when her tricks didn’t go to plan? How did she respond to her Dad’s cajoling? What about when her teacher accidentally became hypnotised? What does this tell you about her character?

What role did Rockstar play in Marlow’s success? Why is he an important part of the story?

What did you learn about Marlow’s tricks? Which one/s interest you the most? Have you tried any of them before?

Age Group

8 – 12 years

Learning Tasks / Tricks

Upside-Down Water Glass Trick

Curriculum Links:

Year 3/4 Science – Physical sciences (ACSSU076), Nature and development of science (ACSHE050)(ACSHE061), Questioning and predicting (ACSIS053)(ACSIS064), Planning and conducting (ACSIS054)(ACSIS065), Processing and analysing data and information (ACSIS215)(ACSIS216), Evaluating (ACSIS058), Communicating (ACSIS060).

Science involved: When the cup is turned upside down, the air pressure inside and outside of the cup is the same. The water creates a seal between the rim and the card, keeping the card in place. When the seal is broken and water escapes, this is the force of gravity pulling it down.

What you’ll need: thick coloured card, various cups, water.

Directions: Cut your coloured card big enough to completely cover the mouth of the glass. Fill the glass to the top and cover it with the coloured card. Predict what might happen when the cup is turned over. Keep your hands on the card while you turn the glass upside down. As you slowly take your hand away, the paper will stay in place.

Extension: Try this trick by changing the amount of water in each glass, and by using different sized cups. What differences did you notice? Record the findings.

Six Thinking Magician Hats

Curriculum Links:

Year 3/4 Literacy – Responding to literature (ACELT1596)(ACELT1603), Texts in context (ACELY1675), Interpreting, analysing, evaluating (ACELY1680)(ACELY1692)

Think about Marlow’s dedication to learning how to be a great magician, and the successes (and epic fails!) along the way. Follow this line of thinking with each of the six thinking hats.

Red (fears, feelings, intuition)

White (information, facts)

Yellow (benefits, positive thinking)

Blue (big picture, focus, learnings)

Green (creative thinking, alternatives)

Black (risks, problems, obstacles)

Magical Maths Card Trick

Curriculum Links:

Year 3/4 Mathematics – Number and place value (ACMNA055), Patterns and algebra (ACMNA083)

Blow your audience’s mind with this spectacular maths card trick!

You will need: a deck of cards.


1. Before you ask for a volunteer, sneak a peek at the tenth card in the deck and memorise it.

2. Ask the volunteer to pick a number between 10 and 20. Count out that number of cards, facedown. Put the rest of the pile aside.

3. Assist the volunteer to add the first and second digit of their number. Eg. 14 would be 1 + 4 = 5.

4. From your smaller deck, take the new number (eg. 5) and remove it (the fifth card from the bottom), handing it to your volunteer without showing you.

5. Create some theatrics around your questioning of that card. For example, ‘I’m sensing love and fire… is it an 8 of hearts?’

Extension: Understand the maths problem. The answer will always be 10.

Illustration by Marjory Gardner

BONUS! Look out for MORE MAGIC FUN at Kesta Fleming’s website!

Marlow Brown; Magician in the Making is written by Kesta Fleming. Illustrations by Marjory Gardner. Published by Celapene Press. Notes prepared by Romi Sharp.

Reference: Australian Curriculum

We are thrilled to celebrate the release of Marlow Brown #2; Magician in the Making, following its first title, Scientist in the Making, with illustrations by Marjory Gardner, published by Celapene Press.

Please follow Kesta Fleming at her website: https://kestafleming.com/

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Purchase your copy of Marlow Brown; Magician in the Making through: Kesta Fleming | Celapene Press | Booktopia

WINNING Marlow Brown will do the TRICK!

Click here to ENTER to WIN a copy of the spectacular Marlow Brown; Magician in the Making

Join us as we create magic with Kesta Fleming and her fun-filled chapter book, Marlow Brown; Magician in the Making, hypnotising readers across the blogosphere and at the following media sources…

Organised by Books On Tour PR & Marketing. Email: info.booksontour@gmail.com

One thought to “STEM Magic! Educational Fun for Marlow Brown”

  • Norah

    Great stuff!


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