Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is a wonderful story to do a mini unit or literature unit on. This articles discusses several activities to incorporate into a lesson(s).

For a useful, online etext, please check the Gutenburg Project for its version of the Aladdin story.

Another useful etext, is the Iraqi translation of several stories from the Arabian Nights.

Yet another useful text translation can be found at Arabian Nights, and this one comes without any political commentary.

Game: This game is called “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves”: Group sits in a circle and chants Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, while doing an action. The group leader on the next beat changes the action and then on the next beat the person beside him/her does that action. The action follows its way around the circle and the whole time the group is repeating the phrase. The group leader must change the action after every beat, so that every person in the circle eventually ends up doing a different action. (This may be compared to singing a song in a round).

Cooking Activities:

Middle Eastern cooking links to several Middle Eastern countries recipes
Search this site for recipes from Middle Ages of the Middle East


Recreate an Islamic Dinner


Craft Ideas:

Floating Crystals

Blue Clouds: An Edible Chemical Reaction but shape the clouds like your genie

Use Faux Marble Sculpture or Faux Alabaster Figure to sculpt characters from the stories in Arabian Nights

Create a Fresco of a scene from one of the stories

Homemade Glitter Wands

Make jeweled necklaces for your own treasure cave using miscellaneous beads and/or buttons. This is also a good activity for counting.

Other Ideas:

In addition to reading the etexts listed above, check your local library for copies of this classic tale. They may even have a movie on VHS that you can watch.

Disney came out with its version of this tale as well. You could watch the Disney version and compare it to the original tale.

Any activity that you can think of like a treasure hunt with clues, etc.


The famous daily shows you important history that happened on this day.
























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