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- Experimenting with writing for musical theater will get students engaged in the creative process, build communication skills, and provide dramatic new opportunities for celebrating Read Across America. Musicals, according to director Bob Fosse, include "I Am" songs: a song that introduces a character, their personality, and their role in the plot and "I Want" songs: a song that expresses a character’s desire and motivations.
- Have students review the lyrics for "The Wizard and I" from Wicked. Discuss as a group whether this is an “I Am” song or an “I Want” song. Ask students to share any other “I Am” or “I Want” songs they are familiar with. Then, ask students to write lyrics for an “I Am” or “I Want” song for Nat, the main character from The Chance to Fly. They should create at least one verse. Then, have students share something about themselves through song! Have them write an “I Am” or “I Want” song about themselves and invite students who wish to perform their song to share.
Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing
- What’s the significance of the title? Why do you think the authors chose this title for the book? What’s the significance of the chapter titles?
- What were some of the challenges Nat faced? How are these challenges similar to or different from things you’ve faced? What strengths do you think you have to face your challenges? How do those strengths compare to Nat’s?
- How does being a person with a disability complicate Nat's relationship with her parents?
- What do the Broadway Bounders do that help Nat feel included? How do they support her when adults have trouble seeing past her wheelchair? Have you ever made an incorrect assumption about someone’s abilities that you later corrected, or felt like someone made an incorrect assumption about your abilities?
- Theater Techniques & Games for Your Classroom
- The Chance To Fly Talkback: Conversation with Tony award–winning actress Ali Stroker and author Stacy Davidowitz
- Playlist for Every Broadway Song Referenced in the Book by Stacy Davidowitz
- Ali Stroker performs “Defying Gravity” from Wicked
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