Building Dreams and Community: Celebrating Crayola Creativity Week with Ali and The Sea Stars

Wondering how to add some drama to your lessons?  On Tuesday, January 24th join Broadway Star Ali Stroker and Illustrator Gillian Reid as they read their children’s book Ali and the Sea Stars. Ali and Gillian will be sharing inspiring ways to put on a play, illustrate dramatic facial expressions, and build your dreams!   

Ali and the Sea Stars is the debut children’s book from Tony Award winning actress Ali Stroker.  Ali writes the story of a young girl in a wheelchair who creates a stage show for her hometown.  This book was based on Ali’s own experience in her first musical performance. 

The story follows Ali as she fosters her love of singing, dancing, and performing for others. Ali and her friends decide to create a musical theater production of their own to share. All the children must think through how to create their vision as a team.  An unexpected storm comes up and Ali’s creativity and imagination are put to the test. 

Below Are Lesson Ideas to Pair

Create a Play!

 After reading Ali and the Sea Stars with students, ask them to brainstorm topics of a play they would want to perform.  Create a mind map of students thinking as a group.  Display the mind map for all to see.  Pass out blank sheets of paper and ask students to draw the play. If time allows, have the students take a gallery walk to see each other’s creative interpretations.

Play a Theater Game!

Keep fostering the creativity and exploration of theater with a fun and engaging game.  Pass the Sound is a great theater game for beginners of all ages.  Students will learn to listen to each other while having fun.  

  1. In a circle have students pass a whoosh sound to each other.  They should say “Whoosh” and move there hands toward the person they are passing it to.  
  2. Once the Whoosh” goes around the circle a few times, change it up and pass a “Bing” sound around the circle. 
  3. For an added layer try asking the students to “Whooosh” going one direction in the circle and “Bing” in the other direction of the circle.  Students will need to pay attention to what each person is saying and in which direction. 

More To Explore

The AASL has a collection of resources to support having fun during Crayola Creativity Week.  Explore the different activities and book pairings for each day.  Tons of great and engaging resources to share with students and staff alike!


Author: Elizabeth Libberton

Elizabeth Libberton is the library media specialist at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles Illinois. She currently writes book reviews for School Library Journal. She is a member of the ALA Awards Selection Committee. Also, she is a member of the steering committee for the AISLE Lincoln Book Award.

Categories: Community/Teacher Collaboration, Literacy

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