Celebrating Crayola’s Creativity Week with Kindergarten

What is Crayola’s Creativity Week?

Crayola’s Creativity Week will take place on January 23rd – 29th!  The goal of this week is to celebrate children’s creativity and embrace innovative thinking.  There is a different event planned every day for children to participate in.  Each guest will be highlighting the ways you can celebrate your creativity.  Additionally, there are free resources for teachers and families and giveaways throughout the week.

Choosing an Event

After reading what this week has to offer, I decided it was definitely something learners would be excited about.  Since I have not participated before I wanted to start with just one grade level.  I felt that Building Dreams and Community with Broadway Star, Ali Stroker, and illustrator Gillian Reid would be a good fit for kindergarten.  This event is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24th. 

The Book

In the video, that will be shared on the 24th, Ali Stroker and Gillian Reid will be talking about their book Ali and the Sea Stars.  This book has been a popular choice in the school library so far this year and makes a great read-aloud.  

The story follows a girl named Ali who loves to sing, dance and act.  She decides to put on her very own performance at Breezy Beach with the help of her family and friends.  Of course, a few obstacles get in the way, but Ali has to think creatively and problem-solve.  This book illustrates the true meaning of the phrase, “the show must go on!”  

Curriculum Connections

At the end of the book the author’s note shares how this story is based on Ali’s own personal experience performing at the Jersey Shore as a child.  This ties in perfectly with the writing curriculum in kindergarten.  Students work to share “small moment” stories meaning that they focus on one small part of their life to write about.  This shows an excellent example of a small moment in Ali’s life.  Additionally, Ali Stroker is the first wheelchair-using actor to appear on Broadway and win a Tony Award.  So far the students have loved finding out more about her. 

Our school uses the Responsive Classroom model.  As part of this model, students share their hopes and dreams.  Since this book is all about having a dream and working to achieve it, we are able to make great connections to our own hopes and dreams. 

Getting Ready

To get ready for The Building Dreams and Community event, students in kindergarten are completing two lessons that allow them to make connections to the book and build their creativity.  I see kindergarten students once a week for 30 minutes so this is taking place over a three-week period.  The first two weeks include reading the book and completing a creative project to go with it.  The third week is for joining in on the event with Ali and Gillian. 

Lesson 1: What does it mean to dream big?

Objective: Students will identify the story elements within the book.  They will share their own hopes and dreams to make connections to the main character. 

  • Step 1: Who are the Author and Illustrator? 
    • Show students a photograph of the author and illustrator and identify what each did to help create the book.  You could even use this video from Ali found in the Crayola Creativity Week promotional materials.  Explain to students that this story is based on an experience the author had as a child.  Make the connection that this is like a “small moment” story.  As you read have students listen for what Ali really, really hopes to become.
  • Step 2: Read Aloud 
    • Read aloud the story Ali and the Sea Stars.  Discuss the story elements while you are reading. 
  • Step 3: Make Connections
    • Play a game called Keep the Beat.  Have students sit in a circle.  Create a beat or rhythm, such as clap, clap, stomp, stomp, wiggle, wiggle.  Have students repeat the pattern three times.  Then, have a few students share something they hope or dream to do just like Ali did.  Then create a new pattern and repeat the process.  We like to play three rounds.
  • Step 4: Create
    • Give students a Hopes and Dreams page.  Have them write a sentence about what they really hope or dream about and add an illustration.  

Lesson 2: Sharing our dreams with others

Objective: Students will create an illustration and write a sentence to share their hopes and dreams with each other.  They will build an object using LEGOs to represent their hopes and dreams. 

  • Step 1: Review
    • Play Freeze Dance Library Style and have students share what they remember about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.  Make sure to identify the main character and what she hoped to be.
  • Step 2: Finish
    • Have students finish their Hope and Dreams page from the first lesson.  Making sure to encourage them to be creative and add details. 
  • Step 3: Create
    • Then have students create a model using LEGOs to represent their dream.  Put these on display with their page in the library for other students to see.

      This is an example that I plan to share with kindergarten students.

The Big Event

In the school library during Crayola’s Creativity Week, we will watch the video that will be shared by Ali Stroker and Gillian Reid.  Since these resources are recorded and will continue to be available even after January 24th I will be able to share the experience with all four of my kindergarten classes no matter what day they have library that week.

Sign Up Today!

Are you ready to join me in celebrating this week? Make sure to sign up so you receive more information about each activity and all the possible giveaways!  I am excited to see the creative places this will take us!

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Author: Kelly Hincks

I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, MAME.



Categories: Community, Literacy, STEM/STEAM, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

Tags: , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Kelly this sounds incredible! I’ve never heard about creativity week or Ali’s book before! Thanks for sharing you plans and ideas and for introducing me to something new! -Angie

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