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!


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. Be a storyteller like Maya Angelou! With your classmates, brainstorm situations that were resolved by book characters and that happen in children’s lives. Choose a setting anywhere in the world. Find out about that place. If possible, interview someone who lived in or visited the country.

3. Create a character. Use Crayola Model Magic® to form a figure of the main character in your 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 your character overnight.

4. Write your story. Plan the action. Write or draw each part. Illustrate your story with details about the setting, plot, and characters. Be sure that your story is authentic to the time and place.

5. Share your story. Show your illustrations while you tell your story to classmates or younger children.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.


  • On a world map, mark the locations of the characters featured in the books you read and write. Make comparison charts about the settings and characters.
  • Turn your stories into books. Put your Model Magic character in a pocket on the cover.
  • Set up a story collection in a classroom library or gallery to be shared by all of your classmates.
  • Use descriptive language. Describe the setting of your story using color words, shapes, and sizes. Tell about your character by describing hair and skin colors, clothing, and personality. Be sure you have these two parts in your story--one part takes the reader/listener to the place and the other introduces your character. Put these parts at the beginning of your story, then follow with the action.
  • Assessment: Verify that the setting, plot, and characters are authentic to the culture and time period in which the story takes place.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

Share on Facebook


crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Multicultural Washable Markers
  • Model Magic®
  • Construction Paper



  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children respond to stories about diverse children by identifying and comparing settings and characters.

  • Children gather information about a country in which their story will take place.

  • Children write and illustrate authentic stories about their own characters in unique settings.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards