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Around-the-World Storytellers

Discover what daily life is like for children around the world. The captivating Maya’s World series is a springboard to literacy and appreciation for diversity!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Find out about children who live in other places, such as the Maya's World series of books by Maya Angelou. Each book features a child from a different country facing a challenge common to children everywhere.
    2. Have students become storytellers like Maya Angelou! Brainstorm with the class about situations that were resolved by book characters and that happen in children’s lives. Have students choose a setting anywhere in the world. They will find out about that place. If possible, interview someone who lived in or visited the country.
    3. Students create a character. Use Crayola Model Magic® to form a figure of the main character in the story. Mix in the color from Crayola Washable Markers and Washable Multicultural Markers to make just the right hues for hair and clothing. Air-dry the character overnight.
    4. Students write a story. Plan the action. Write or draw each part. Illustrate the story with details about the setting, plot, and characters with Crayola Markers on construction paper. Be sure that the story is authentic to the time and place.
    5. Students Share their story. They Show their illustrations while telling their story to classmates or younger children.
  • Standards

    LA: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

    LA: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Give examples of how experiences may be interpreted differently by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA:Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Using a world map, students can identify the locations of the stories and characters featured in the books read in this lesson. Students should compare and contrast the characters and settings in chosen stories. If appropriate for the grade level, students can compose a compare/contrast summary of the two stories compared. This can be done individually or in a small group setting.

    Students can take their original stories from this lesson and create books, illustrating scenes from the stories. The Crayola Model Magic character can be housed in a pocket on the cover of their books, as illustrated in the photograph accompanying this lesson. These books should be displayed in the classroom for sharing with classmates.

    Students research a country that is of particular interest to them. In their original stories, students describe the location in detail, while not revealing it to their readers. The readers are then challenged to discover the setting of the stories using the story clues that may focus on the landforms, natural resources, cultural aspects, etc. Once a location is discovered, readers are to find it on the world map and mark it using the title of the story. The author(s) can verify the accuracy.

    In small groups, students write a story that reflects their country and culture that they would share as part of Maya Angelou's World book series. What will you include regarding the location of your story? What are the characters like? What aspects of your culture will you include? Students should be encouraged to focus on their descriptive language in their writing.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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