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Mansa Musa, the Lion of Mali in western Africa, is part fiction and part fact. Students recreate brilliant textiles from this ancient culture using Crayola® Oil Pastels.
Read Mansa Musa by Khephra Burns to students. The story shares the wonder and beauty of ancient cities and people in the western African empire of Mali. Encourage students to pay special attention to the illustrations.
Organize students into small groups to conduct research to determine which parts of the story are fact and which are fiction. Provide time in the school day for students to share their findings.
Distribute construction paper and Crayola Colored Pencils to students. Ask students to outline a large nomadic tent. With Crayola Scissors, cut out the tent. Cut a slit up the middle of the tent, stopping near the top. Using Crayola Oil Pastels, students color one side of the tent in neutral shades to resemble a camel-hair tent. Students turn the tent over and create brilliant tapestries and rugs using vibrant colors and authentic patterns.
Instruct students to trace the outline of the tent on a larger sheet of construction paper. Inside the outline, students draw and color a picture of Mansa Musa surrounded by beautiful tapestries and rugs in various patterns and vibrant colors. Color the area outside the tent to resemble the desert landscape of sand and sky.
Ask students to run a thin line of Crayola School Glue around the outer edge of the drawn tent. Position the cut-out tent over it so that the neutral side faces out. Press into place. Pull back both tent flaps to show the tapestries and rugs within. Place a dot of glue to hold flaps open. Air dry.
Display the 7 principles of Kwanzaa in a one-of-a-kind accordion window book.
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