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Harem Scare Em
Harem Scare Em
About the Show
When Jodie, Sam, and Fred warp to the Topkapi Palace in the
Ottoman Empire during the 16th century, they meet Selim, Suleiman
the Magnicent’s son, and his wily monkey, Dimples! The kids nd
themselves in a race through the palace and up to the top of a minaret
with a crazed Dimples, who suddenly starts wielding a scimitar and
looking and sounding an awful lot like Mad Jack!
Suleiman the Magnicent, ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th
century, conquered many lands and allowed diverse cultures to exist
within his empire. Comparing and contrasting his accomplishments
with those of Alexander the Great or other famous conquerors can
give students a new perspective on world history.
Historical Background
At its height, the Ottoman Empire’s lands stretched as far as Yemen
to the south, Hungary to the west, Persia to the east, and Russia to
the north. This large empire was ruled by a single family that produced
an unbroken line of sultans (rulers) from the 1300s until the early
1900s. Under Suleimana sultan renowned for his sense of justice,
his dedication to his people, his skills as a warrior, his understanding
of Islam, and his artistic achievements—the Ottoman Empire experienced
a golden age from 1520 to 1566.
Europeans called Suleimanthe Magnicent,” but the Ottomans
called Suleiman Kanuni, orThe Lawgiver,” because he established
Ottoman law codes in order to create a unied system of justice,
with Suleiman as the supreme authority.
Curriculum Connections
Ottoman Empire
Subject Areas
language arts
social studies
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Harem Scare Em
Historical Background continued
The Ottoman Empire was known for its ruthless pursuit of new land, its great prosperity, its support
for the arts and architecture, and the education of its citizens. Suleiman could afford all of these things
because of the wealth he acquired through trade and taxation. During his reign, the sultan’s chief
architect, Mimar Sinan, built over 300 structures throughout the empire. Sinan’s greatest architectural
achievement was Suleiman’s Mosque (called Suleymaniye in Turkish and Arabic)—a rectangular prayer
hall covered by an eighty-six-foot-wide dome—that remains Istanbul’s largest mosque. Suleiman was
also a prolic poet, writing more than 3,000 poems during his lifetime.
Islam was the main religion in the Ottoman Empire, but Suleiman allowed freedom of religion. Non-Muslims
were allowed to create their own communities, live in their own neighborhoods, and run their own
schools. However, Suleiman did charge Christians and Jews a personal tax as payment for being allowed
to practice their religion.
Sultans who came after Suleiman, including his son Selim, were less capable rulers. By 1922, the ofce of
sultan had been abolished and by 1923 the Republic of Turkey was born. However, inuences from the time
of Suleiman continue to ourish in Turkey today, particularly in the skill of the artisans and rug makers
who work and live there.
Put It Back, Jack! and other interactive games to play.
Plentifax 487—the ultimate time traveler’s guide—gives facts about
life during the Ottoman Empire and more!
Cool Books that kids will love.
Want students to get even more
excited about history?
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The Ottoman Oracle
. Tell students they will be creating a newspaper about life in the Ottoman
Empire during Suleiman’s reign.
. Ask students to bring in copies of the daily and/or Sunday newspaper.
As students browse through the sections of the newspaper, point out
examples of the different types of articles. Allow each student to select
the type of article he or she wishes to write (travel, food, advertisement,
news article, etc.).
. Organize students into small groups according to the type of article
they selected. List the types of articles the students want to write on the
board. Try to make sure that many different types of articles will appear
in your class newspaper.
4. As a group, ask students to make a list of the things that characterize
their type of article (e.g., advertisements have short, catchy sentences
that draw your attention).
5. Have students choose a topic about the Ottoman Empire (see Topics
about the Ottoman Empire” handout). Each student should nd 8–10 facts
about their topic for their article.
6. Once students have written their articles, lay out the newspaper
either by hand or on the computer. Include visuals (such as student
drawings) if possible.
7. Have students take turns sharing their writing with the class. If two
or more students have chosen the same topic, compare and contrast
the information theyve presented.
to understand the achievements
of the Ottoman Empire
to experiment with different
writing styles
writing materials
daily and/or Sunday newspapers
Topics about the Ottoman
Empire handout
Curriculum Standards
Individual Development &
Identity: Identify and describe
the ways regional, ethnic, and
national cultures influence
individualsdaily lives.
Students employ a wide range
of strategies as they write
and use different writing
process elements appropriately
to communicate with different
audiences for a variety
of purposes.
Topics about the Ottoman Empire
Architecture and art
Daily life
Economy (especially taxation)
Entertainment (poetry, music, etc.)
History of the sultans
(especially Mehmet II and Suleiman I)
Marriage and family
Military strength
Religious freedom
Roxelana and the royal family
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© 2006 WGBH Educational Foundation.
Harem Scare Em
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to learn about Turkish rugs
to design a rug
Create Your Own Turkish
research materials
art and writing supplies
Curriculum Standards
Culture: Explain and give
examples of how language,
literature, the arts, architecture,
other artifacts, traditions,
beliefs, values, and behaviors
contribute to the development
and transmission of culture.
Students use a variety of
technological and informational
resources (e.g., libraries,
databases, computer networks,
video) to gather and synthesize
information and to create
and communicate knowledge.
Turkish Delight
. As Jodie nds out in the show “Harem Scare ‘Em,” Turkish women
have been weaving rugs for centuries. Tell students they will be
learning about Turkish rug makers. They will also create their own
rug design using traditional colors and symbols.
. Using theCreate Your Own Turkish Rug” handout, review the
history of Turkish rugs. You may want students to research Turkish
rugs themselves.
. Explain the way the Turkish rugs are usually laid out (a rectangular
rug with a border that goes all the way around and a pattern made
up of symbolic shapes in the middle). Ask students to select the colors
they want to use and then color the rst rug design on the handout.
Next, ask students to design and color their own rugs using the
outline on the handout.
4. Give students time to share their rugs and explain why they used
the colors and shapes they chose. Post them in a class display.
Harem Scare Em
 In the Classroom
© 2006 WGBH Educational Foundation.
Use the following colors and symbols to create your own rug designs.
Create Your Own Turkish Rug
Turkish handwoven rugs are works of art that continue a tradition
developed over hundreds of years. Weavers were primarily women and
archeological evidence has shown that weavers were part of society
as far back as 7000 B.C.E. Rugs were first woven out of wool. Around 552 C.E.
silkworms were smuggled into Turkey by two Byzantine priests. After
that, many rugs were made of silk.
Rugs were used by nomads and city dwellers as blankets, wall coverings,
doorway hangings, and floor rugs. The most important function of a Turkish
rug is as a prayer rug on which Muslims kneel and pray daily. Each handwoven
rug is a work of art that expresses something personal about the weaver.
Usually each rug has a border that goes all the way around it. The middle is
made up of a pattern of geometric shapes. Each geometric pattern is a symbol
and each color that is woven into the rug has significance.
Green is the color of hope,
renewal, and life. It is used sparingly
because it is the holy color of
the Prophet.
Red is the color of fire, joy,
enthusiasm, and faith, but it can
also symbolize sorrow.
Blue is the color of strength
and power.
Orange is the color of humility.
Yellow is the color of the sun,
which symbolizes the joy of life.
White is the color of cleanliness,
innocence, and purity.
Black is rarely used, except for
design outlines, because it is the
color of mourning.
Harem Scare ‘Em
 In the Classroom
© 2006 WGBH Educational Foundation.
1. Pick two or three colors to use for each rug.
2.Decide where each color will go.
3. Use your plan to color your Turkish rugs.
Create Your Own Turkish Rug
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Harem Scare Em
NOTE: There are many different ways to
correctly spell the nameSuleiman.” Several
variations are used to be consistent with the
Web site or book referenced.
Recommended Books
For Teachers
by Christopher
Alexander. (Oxford University Press,
1993) This book explores an
extraordinary collection of Turkish
rugs and explains the signicance
of many of the designs.
by John Freely. (Penguin, 1998)
This book describes the history of
this vibrant city, from its foundation
to the present.
by Lord Kinross.
(Harper Perennial, 1979)
This is a chronicle of the history
of the Ottoman Empire, from its
inception under Osman I to its decline
after the exile of Mehmed VI.
by Andre Clot.
(Saqi Books, 2004)
This book details Suleiman’s campaign
to extend the geographic boundaries
of Islam.
by Carter Vaughn Findley.
(Oxford University Press, 2004)
This book explores the economic,
social, and political history of the
Turkish people, from two thousand
years ago to the present.
by Peter F.
Stone. (Thames & Hudson, 2004)
Through full-color images, this book
explains the motifs, designs, and
patterns in rugs from the Near East
and Central Asia.
For Students
by Virginia
Schomp. (Benchmark Books, 2004)
Introduces important events in Europe,
Asia, and the Americas in 1500.
by David Macaulay.
(Houghton Mifin, 2004)
The construction of actional
mosque circa 1595, modeled after
the work of the Ottoman Empire
architect Sinan, combines
architectural details with insight
into Islamic culture and religion.
by Elsa Marston.
(Franklin Watts, 2001)
Information about Muhammad,
as well as information about Muslim
beliefs and practices, is presented
in this introduction to Islam.
by Demi.
(Margaret K. McElderry, 2003)
This book tells the story of Muhammad’s
life in words and pictures.
by Lucile Davis.
(Blackbirch Press, 2004)
Life During the Great Civilizations
series. This overview of the Ottoman
Empire provides information on
families, homes, clothing, work,
and more.
by Adriane
Ruggiero. (Benchmark Books, 2003)
Cultures of the Past series. Offers
detailed information about all
aspects of the Ottoman Empire,
including an in-depth description
of the reign of Suleyman.
by Miriam Greenblatt.
(Benchmark Books, 2002)
Rulers and Their Times series.
Provides information on Süleyman’s
military and personal triumphs
and defeats, and the daily lives of
his subjects.
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Web Sites
Offers commentary on Suleyman
as a leader, builder, lawgiver,
and conqueror, as well as links to
information about succeeding sultans.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art
displays photographs of Ottoman
treasures online.
This interactive tool from NCTE
allows students to lay out their
articles like a real newspaper.
(NOTE: This site takes a minute to load.)
A brief history of this famous mosque,
as well as photographs of its interior
and exterior.
©2006 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved. Time Warp Trio™ is produced by WGBH in association with Soup2Nuts for Discovery Kids. Major funding was provided by
a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, ndings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these classroom materials do not necessarily represent those of the
National Endowment for the Humanities. Based on THE TIME WARP TRIO book series written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith. Time Warp Trio is a registered trademark of Chucklebait, LLC.
Used with permission. Third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Used with permission.
Although these sites were veried at the time
of publication, Web site addresses and content
are frequently subject to change.