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Learn About Ancient Mali for Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is coming  on January 27.  If you didn’t read about it earlier in the week, it is an amazing celebration and encouragement of multicultural books for kids.  It was created by Mia Wenjen of PragmaticMom and Valarie Budayr of Jump into a Book.  These ladies are on a mission to make more diverse books available to our nation’s youth.  I’m down with that, so I’m jumping on board this year to review 3 books for you by Carol P. Roman from her If You Were Me and Lived in… series.

Review, printables, and activities for If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

Since I am unequivocally recommending these books, especially to homeschoolers and other teachers, I’m reviewing them one at a time.  Because we so have to Story Time these babies up!

If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman

Review, printables, and activities for If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day
If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire is no mere picture book.  No, this is a book that could be an entire lesson on ancient Mali in itself.  The boys and I have been studying Africa this year, and we learned more about Mali from this book than from any other source.  I’m not making that up.

The ‘me’ in this book is a young girl who walks littles through almost all the parts of the ancient Mali Empire.  She explains where the empire was, the Islam faith and why it was practiced, the types of houses that existed the way the government and economic systems worked…  Totally not kidding, this book really covers almost everything.

Our favorite part was when her grandfather, the Griot (gree-oh), or storyteller, told the story of how the Mali Empire began.  Because story.  And if you didn’t have books, storytellers were the next best thing!

Just like the Ancient China book by Roman, this one lends itself to all sorts of activities.

Geography

The Mali Empire covered a large part of western Africa.  This free printable has a map that shows where it was and a blank map for your littles to fill out.

Review, printables, and activities for If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

Science

Ancient Mali traded mainly in gold and salt.  I don’t have any spare gold lying around, but I absolutely have salt, so let’s do some cool experiments.

Float an egg

When you add salt to water, it makes the water  denser, so things float more easily.  Have your littles test it out with a couple of eggs and watch how freaking cool this is.

What you need:

3 Salt Science Experiments to do while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

 

  • 2 clear glasses or bowls
  • Salt
  • 2 fresh (uncooked. Unless you have farm-fresh like mine.  Then still uncooked but even fresher) eggs
  • Liquid measuring cup

What you do:

  • Fill each cup with about 1 2/3 cups water (make it kinda warm so the salt will dissolve faster)
  • Label 1 cup salt and pour 1/3 cup salt into it

3 Salt Science Experiments to do while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Carefully place an egg in each glass and watch the difference in what happens. It’s very cool.
  • Discuss why the egg in the salt water floated but the other egg didn’t (the salt water is denser and able to hold more weight)
  • For a little more fun, point out that the same concept is what makes it easier to float in the ocean than in the pool

Freeze Salt Water

This one might amaze your littles more than the last one.  Remind them that when it snows and gets icy out, the highway department spreads salt on the roads to help melt the ice and make them safer to drive on.  Sure, it’s not the same as table salt, but table salt is exactly what I use on my porch steps every single winter (and it saves me a ton of money).

What you need:

3 Salt Science Experiments to do while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • 2 plastic or otherwise freezable cups
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Marker

What you do:

2 Easy Salt Science Experiments to do while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Write salt on 1 cup with marker
  • Fill each cup about half full with warmish water
  • Add 1/3 cup salt to the cup labeled salt

2 Easy Salt Science Experiments to do while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Put both cups in the freezer
  • Check back every 20 minutes or so and discuss whether both cups of water are freezing at the same pace

2 Easy Salt Science Experiments to do while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

After about 40 minutes, the plain water was starting to freeze (in the cup on the left) but the salt water hadn’t even begun.  That’s because salt causes heat when added to water, so salt water has a lower freezing point than plain water.  It actually  has to get colder to freeze than plain water does.  That’s also why it works on ice–it lowers the freezing point so that the ice starts to melt.

Craft

This one is fun but a little complicated.  Older littles will love trying it themselves, but you will have to help smaller littles.  That’s ok, when they’re done, they’ll have a little house to play with!  My littlest?  So excited about that.

Salt Dough Ancient Mali Empire House

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

What you need:

  • Salt dough (see my recipe here)
  • Raffia
  • 4 small dowels or kabob sticks in 3 inch sections
  • Scissors
  • Butter knife or other instrument for cutting dough
  • Ruler
  • Small jar or bottle (roughly 3″ circumference

What you do:

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Make the salt dough
  • Roll out the salt dough (you might want to flour your surface so it lifts easily) until you have a piece that is 3 x 6 inches and 1/2 inch thick

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book DayMake a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Use a ruler and the butter knife to cut off ragged edges and get straight lines

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Use the butter knife to cut a window and door into your building

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Grease and/flour the small jar or bottle (I didn’t do this the first time and I couldn’t get the jar out of the house once it dried)
  • Wrap the dough around the bottle, meeting the short sides at the back
  • Press the dough together to hide the seam and make it cylindrical
  • Check to make sure your door and window are still the right shape; if they’re not, reshape them

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Place the dowel rods around the building, pressing one end into the top (about 1/4 down) and making sure the ends touch the table or floor

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Cut about a 2-inch circumference bunch of raffia, about 4 inches long

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Cut a long strand of raffia to tie your bunch together near the top

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Separate the raffia at the open end and spread it out around the top of your building, centering the tie

Make a Salt Dough Ancient Mali House while reading If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P Roman for Multicultural Children's Book Day

  • Trim the raffia to your liking
  • Let the house dry for at least 24 hours, then slide the jar out

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Sponsors

Check out these amazing sponsors of MCBD.

Platinum – ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli.

Medallion level (gold, silver, bronze)- Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

MCBD Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab

All Done Monkey

Books My Kids Read

Crafty Moms Share

Colours of Us

Educators Spin on it

Franticmommy

Growing Book by Book

Imagination Soup

Kid World Citizen

Mama Smiles

Multicultural Kid Blogs

Randomly Reading

Spanish Playground

The Jenny Evolution

The Logonauts

Youth Literature Reviews

 

Be sure to check out MCBD’s Free Multicultural Books for Teachers

And Don’t miss Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators

or

 Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents

Love wins,

KT

Looking for fun winter activities for your littles?  Check out:

Story Time: The Snowy Day

Dinner and a Movie: Alice Through the Looking Glass

Story Time: The Mitten

Story Time: The Valentine Bears

A Beary Wonderful Hibernation Unit

Story Time: Little Bear’s Valentine

Story Time: Owl Moon

Story Time: A Pocket Full of Kisses

 

 

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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Latest posts by KT Brison (see all)

About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.

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16 Comments

  1. Ooh, I haven’t seen this one yet, but we love all her other books! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Booknificent Thursday Link-Up Party #184My Profile

  2. Great activities, I especially love the salt dough house! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What an amazing activity you create to go with this book! I love how you explore Ancient Mali. Thank you so much for joining us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. It makes me so happy that you enjoyed your book!

  4. I love her books so much and you make a journey to Mali a great place to be. Love the salt dough house. So cute !! Thanks again for sharing !! #readyourworld
    Valarie Budayr recently posted…Multicultural Children’s Book Day Reviewers: Link Up Your Reviews HEREMy Profile

  5. I loved these activity ideas. Thanks for linking up with us the #LMMLinkup this week.

  6. What great activity ideas to go along with a wonderful book.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…My January BooksMy Profile

  7. These are great ideas! Thank you for linking up with the LMMLinkup!

  8. Wow! I didn’t know there was a new one out! We have most of her books.
    Shecki recently posted…Field Trip Friday: Ca State Railroad MuseumMy Profile

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