Tag Archives: Mansa Musa

Jerboa’s Beautiful Tail


I wrote “Jerboa” while collaborating with John Miller on a teaching unit for his 7th graders. It reminded editor Beryl Belsky of a Kipling tale and she now has it up on her Writer’s Drawer site.  I’ve included links to both the story and the lesson plans.  I do hope students will have fun with it!

Jeboa’s Beautiful Tail:  http://www.thewritersdrawer.net/jerboa-beautiful-tail.html

Lesson Plans:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Jerboas-Beautiful-Tail-a-Minecraft-project-1559678


Leave a comment

Filed under Front Page, published story

Mansa Musa’s Minecraft



Mansa Musa is still considered to be one of the wealthiest men in history.  He was a great King, but his accomplishments and times are far from current popular awareness. I wrote “Jerboa’s Beautiful Tail” to introduce Mansa Musa and Western African History to young people. Because folk tales are so central to African cultures, I’ve used one for the structure of my story. Every good folk tale has a lesson and so does mine.

Master teacher John Miller and I have worked together creating teaching units for twenty-five years.  He liked “Jerboa’s Beautiful Tail” and had his students at Chalone Peaks Middle School create a Minecraft movie of the story.  I think they did a great job!  Here’s the movie link:


All teachers who are interested in Minecraft will want to see how Mr. Miller created his lesson!  Here’s a link to his plan:  http://minecraft.edtecworks.com/2014/11/16/lesson-plan-making-a-movie-in-minecraft/

I posted the actual story and some reading comprehension activities for  it on TPT.  Both story and activities are free. The link is below.


Leave a comment

Filed under Front Page