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Mrs. Dunn's Class
Central Elementary School
Okemos, Michigan

The Black Snowman
Phil Mendez

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As the storyteller weaves her stories, as the cloth maker weaves the kente cloth, as Anansi weaves a web, so we wove together five books when we enjoyed The Black Snowman, by Phil Mendez. Stopping at pertinent points we wove in Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott, Frosty the Snowman retold by Annie North Bedford, James Berry's First Palm Trees: An Anansi Spiderman Story, and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters written and illustrated by John Steptoe. It was wonderful to see the connections the students could make between the books and between the different kinds of weaving. We did many different kinds of writing projects in connection with the books and composed our own Magic Snow people.

Cinquain Poems

Bright, warm
Shining, growing, melting
Makes me feel hot
A Star

wet, cold
Raining, dripping, slipping
Makes me feel good
Spirit of the water

Sun spirit
Big, round
shining, shimmering, sparkling
You make me feel warm
Spirit of the sky

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Five W's Poems

Sang beautiful songs
In the morning
In her garden
Because it made her plants grow thick and long
Married a king
On a sunny afternoon
In the king's palace
Because she was so nice!
Was nice to animals
In the daytime
In Africa
Because she was kind to everyone
Nice Nyasha
Helped a person
In the daytime
Outside in a forest
Because the person was hungry
Helped a snake
Two days ago
In her garden
Because it ate bugs
Guarded the garden
Before they went to the king
At the village
Because he was a friend
Nyoko the snake
Saved Nyasha's garden
Tuesday in the morning
Because he is a garter snake
and he eats animals
The king
Turned into a snake
A sunny afternoon
In Nyasha's garden
To comfort Nyasha
Anansi the Spider
Gets into trouble a lot
At day and nigh
Almost everywhere
Because he's a trouble maker

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At the end of The Black Snowman, by Phil Mendez, a firefighter finds thekente cloth and takes it home for his daughter to use to make dollclothes. Here are three new ideas of "What happened next..."

The Magic Doll
by Haley

When the fireman had finished making the dress from the magic kentecloth the doll started to wiggle. Soon it lifted up its body and beganto move. The little girl came into her room. Not noticing that herdoll was alive, she turned on her light and began to read. She had jus thad a fight with her dad. Everything in her life seemed to be "old-fashioned and ugly."  Why did he have to get stuck with her Great-great-great-great-Aunt ann's ball gown instead of a new blackdress with tiny flowers like everyone else? Just then the doll started to talk. It said, "You should be proudof your ancestors! Come with me and you will see what I mean." Amazed, the girl did as the doll talk her. Soon she was in what appeared to be a castle. "I must be back in ancient times!" shethought. Then someone walked in. He said, "Are you ready for your tripacross the desert? We will be attacked soon! We need to hurry!" Not knowing where she was going, she set off on foot with everybody else. After a long period of time, they came to a castle. "We willlive in the summer house," everyone said. Her feet were tired and now she was what it was like for herancestors. Suddenly she was back in her room. She needed to go downstairs andtalk to her Dad. She thought, "Maybe, someday, my Great-great-great-great-grandchild will get this doll and she'll come here." And to this day there is still a magic doll somewhere.

The Black Doll
by Michael

The father showed his little girl, Amy, the kente cloth. So Amy gother doll, Kate. The father made a dress out of the kente cloth. Thedoll came to life. Amy said, "I am so happy!" The next day the house looked so pretty. So did Kate. But when Kate was running she knocked the clock down! So they had to go to therepair shop. Kate ran away. They finally caught her! But when theyfound her she was ripped. So was the kente cloth. The kente cloth wassold so the clock could be fixed. Amy got a new doll. But she learnedif you have something special you could lose it.

The Little Live Doll
by Hannah

Once a little girl wanted clothes for her doll. All that Kiara, thegirl, saw was a kente cloth. When she put it on her doll, the doll camealive! "Wow!" said Kiara, "I will tell my mom that my doll is alive." The problem was that the doll was mean to Kiara. Every night thedoll made noise. Every morning Kiara taught Sally, the doll, a lessonby putting Sally in bed when Sally was bad. The doll was getting friendlier with Kiara. On the tenth day, Sally was friendly to Kiara and other people. Thedoll learned the lesson so Kiara and Sally got together.

What Makes Our Snowman Magic

My snowman has a magic heart on his middle ball. It makes him do every sport, every subject. It can make him build an igloo.
by Patrick

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