The Black Snowman

By Phil Mendez

Mrs. Savage Dunn's Class

Central Elementary School

Okemos, Michigan

As the storyteller weaves her stories, as the cloth maker weaves the kente cloth, as Anansi weaves a web, so we wove together four books when we enjoyed The Black Snowman, by Phil Mendez. Stopping at pertinent points we wove in Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel, Frosty the Snowman retold by Annie North Bedford, 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 projects in connection with winter and snowflakes. The culmination of reading and writing was making our own winter "kente cloths", two spectacular snowflake quilts, with our MSU student intern, Kim Woodrow. They are pictured here along with some examples of the work we did to augment the readings
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5W Poetry
Who  What  Where When Why

Jacob and PeeWee
Made a black snowman
In the evening before supper
To prove black is good

Jonathan K.

collected bottles and cans
In a building
In the morning
Because he wanted to get Mother a Christmas present

Jack L.

Saved his brother
In a building
On a quiet day
Because he loved his brother

Joseph M.

Saved his brother from the fire
In the old building
On a peaceful day
So he wouldn’t get hurt

Tara R.

Helped save PeeWee
In a burning building
One afternoon
Because he didn’t want PeeWee to die
Allie K.
ran away from home
To the king’s house
At night
Because she wanted to be queen
Joseph M.
Got married to the king
At his palace
On a cheerful day
To be a queen
Tara R.
Knocked animals over
In the forest
On a sunny day
Because he was lazy
Joseph M.
Tricked the animals
In the forest
One day
Because he wanted to get lots of food

Robbie E.

Played a trick on the animals
In the jungle
In the afternoon
To steal their food

Jeff S.

Played tricks
In the forest
On a hot day
Because she wanted to eat their food because she was lazy

Sarah S.

Played tricks on others
In the forest
In the middle of the day
To get their vegetables

Joshua K.

Bush deer
Watched Anansi do her trick
In the forest
One afternoon
Because she was spying

Allie K.

Frosty the Snowman
Came alive
In a town
at Christmas
Because they put the magical hat on him

Robbie E.

At the end of The Black Snowman the firefighter took the kente cloth home for his daughter to use for doll clothes. The students  wrote about what happened with the magic cloth.

The Magic Cloth
by Sarah S.

The fireman took the cloth home to his daughter.  He said she could make her baby doll a dress.  So she did. She put it on her doll and then left the room.  They had lots of boxes in their house because they were going to move.  But the Fireman's daughter did not want to move. After dinner Samantha went upstairs to her room.  She was playing when she heard a voice.   It was coming from her bed where she left her doll. It said, "Samantha, it is okay if you move."  Samantha was frightened!  She had never heard her doll talk before.  Her doll said, "My name is Jennifer.  To remember your friends and your house, take a picture of your house and get a piece of paper.  When you go to school have everyone sign their names."

The next day Samantha went to school. She thought about what her doll had said. Samantha started to get sad. So she got a piece of paper and had everybody in the class sign it and she took a picture of her house. 

The End

The Doll and Cloth
by Matt G.

One day a firefighter came home and gave his daughter a piece of cloth to put on her dolls.  The next day the girl put the cloth on her dolls.  Then the doll came to life. She told her dad and he didn’t believe her. She took the doll everywhere.  Her friend came over.  She said, "Have any new clothes?" "Yes." "Awesome,  let’s see."   "Ooooooooo  O.K. Look’s it’s alive." "Ahhhhhhh!" "Sssshhhh, someone will hear you." The doll went outside.  She made the biggest snowman ever. The doll cut a piece off her dress and put it on a hat. The next day the girl walked down the street. Then she heard a sloppy noise.  It was the snowman and the girl said, "Not again!"

The End

The Kente Cloth Goes to the Little Girl’s House
by  Carrie B.

That night the fireman came home.  He found his daughter in her room Playing with her favorite doll.  He gave her the cloth.   She put in on the doll.   She looked beautiful.  Then she took her doll downstairs to show her mom.  When she wasn’t looking the doll blinked her eye!  Her mom loved the kente cloth!  But it took a long time for the magic to work. It worked over night. The girl was surprised her doll was alive.  She took the doll downstairs to show her mom and dad.  Her mom and dad were surprised too!   They all got used to having a really doll around the house.

The End

 The Black Snowman 2: The Magic Doll
by Rebekah B.

A fireman found a cloth on the ground.  He thought his daughter would like to use the cloth for her doll’s dress.  He was right.   At home his daughter, Sally, was talking to her doll Annie. "Now Annie, don’t be sad." Sally said, "My dad will be home with a dress for you, I hope."  Annie was Sally’s new doll.  She got it for Christmas, But the doll didn’t have any clothes.  Her father promised that he’d find some clothes for her doll.  He told Sally today was the day.  He said he’d be back by six with some clothes. It was ten minutes after six.  Sally was worried he didn’t get any clothes. All of a sudden the door flew open. "I’m home!" yelled Dad.

"Dad!" "How are you?" "Good. Did you bring it?" "Bring what?" "The clothes!"  "You mean this?"  He showed the kente cloth.  "Thank you!" Sally said,   "Hey, Annie, I told you my dad would bring  something."  She wrapped it around her doll.  That night, Sally was so tired.  She went to bed early.  She was sound asleep for a while.  Later in the night, she woke up.   She heard cries.  She looked down where her doll was.  She was the one who was crying!  Sally was so surprised!  But she didn’t say that. She knew it was an emergency.  So she asked, "What is it?" "It’s your father," Annie said. "What happened to my father?" Sally was really scared. "Your father left one hour ago." "So what happened to him?" Sally knew that something had happened to her father.  "He’s trapped in a building,   He saw the fire before anyone else.  But he didn’t call anyone to tell them what is happening."  "I’ve got to go save him!" "Wait," Annie said real loudly, "Take this."  She gave Sally the kente cloth.  "Thanks!"

It didn’t take Sally long to find the house.   It was right across the street!  She heard her father. There were three doors.   She didn’t know which room her father was in! She said, "Find the room my father is in." Then one of the doors opened.  There was her father.   "Keep the door opened."  She walked in.  "Let’s get out of here!"  She got her father and went right home.

The End