The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt

Duncan just wants to color but when he opens up his box of crayons, he finds notes from them that explain that they are not very happy. Why? And what will Duncan do so that he can again color with his crayons again? This book is not only a review of colors but hits upon emotions also.

Materials

  • Color chart
  • Oil pastels
  • Crayon letter in an envelope
  • color domino game
  • A piece of construction paper in all the colors
  • Emotion cards
  • Food coloring

Vocabulary

  • Quit- to stop doing something.
  • Proud- happy or satisfied with someone or who you are.
  • Empty- to feel sad or unimportant.
  • Persuade- to try to make someone understand your point of view/opinion by giving examples.

Before Reading the Story

Hold up an Emotion Card. Ask the children if they can name the emotion. Ask them to give an example of what makes them feel that way. (Angry-when someone tells me I can’t play with them. When my Mom doesn’t let me watch TV).

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

Tell the children that you are going to teach them a new word today. Say the word persuade and ask the children to repeat it. Tell them that it means to try to make someone understand your point of view or opinion by giving examples. Ask the children to persuade to you why your class should go outside early today (Cause I like to run! My sister’s class will be outside and I can say hello). Or why you should not have to wear your jackets when you go outside (I will be too hot, I have long sleeves on). Explain to the children that today’s story is about a box of crayons that are not happy. That they write letters to a boy named Duncan to try to persuade him/explain why to use them more often.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; progresses in abilities to initiate and respond appropriately in conversations and discussions with peers and adults.

Reading the Story

As you read each letter, stop and ask the children if they can tell you in their own words why the crayon was unhappy or had a concern.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children if they thought that the crayons had a reason to complain? If you were a crayon, what color would you want to be and why? Do you think writing a letter was a good idea for the crayons to do? Why/Why not?

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; shows progress in expressing feelings, needs, and opinions in difficult situations and conflicts without doing harm to self, others, or property. AND Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.

Make a letter from the crayons that asks the children to please use all the colors today. Open the letter from the crayons and read it aloud to the children. Ask them if they can think of some things they can draw that use many colors? List their responses and hang it on the wall along with the letter.

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem-Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Discovery

If you have a computer, watch How Crayons Are Made with Mr. Rogers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPAF50bdO1U

If the weather is hot, have the children peel the paper off the crayons and sort old broken crayons into plastic cups by color. Put the cups out into the direct sun and ask the children what they think will happen to the crayons? Have the children check on the crayon cups through the day to see and report what is happening. When the crayons have melted, bring them back inside and let the children experiment with them by writing with very softened crayons or pouring the melted crayons onto the paper. Have them discuss what happened, what they are doing, and what they think will happen to the crayons in another day or two.

Science/Scientific Skills & methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Music and Movement

Put on the song Rock Your Bodies to the Colors by Jack Hartman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_oeKDVJTss

Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles. AND Literacy/Phonological Awareness; progresses in recognizing matching sounds and rhymes in familiar words, games, songs, stories, and poems.

Sing and Dance to This is a Song About Color by Hap Palmer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v-nocdm20g

For children who are able to better follow directions, try Parade of Colors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXTaknCm0lg

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Sing My Favorite Color. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxIpA5nF_LY. As you sing, go around the circle and let the children name their color. The teacher then holds up that color sheet of construction paper as the children sing. Allow every child to have a choice of their favorite color to sing about.

Social & Emotional Development/Self Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Blocks

Put out colored blocks today to be sorted by color and then made into towers of ten.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size. AND Mathematics/Number & operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Art

At the easel add red, yellow, blue, and white paint today. Encourage the children to experiment making new colors.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

On a piece of white construction paper use tape to make each child’s name. Give the children oil pastels to color the paper. Encourage them to add many colors and to fill the paper in. Make a light wash of watercolor paint over the entire picture. When it is dry, carefully pull the tape off the page. See resources for example.

Creative Arts/Art; gains in ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation. AND Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Library and Writing

Put out crayons today and ask the children to draw using their favorite color/colors/ When they are finished, help them write why it is their favorite color. (Dear blue, you are my favorite color because…).

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; progresses in abilities to use writing, drawing, and art tools, including pencils, markers, chalk, paint brushed, and various types of technology.

Sand and Water

Ahead of time make colored sand to put into the table today. Unfortunately this is a job for the teacher as food coloring will stick to your skin until well mixed. In a bowl add sand and several drops of food coloring. Mix with a spoon. Continue to mix sand and food coloring until your get the color desired. Keep it on the lighter side so that the children’s hands will not be colored by the dye. Make two primary colors and dump into piles in the table. Let the children mix and combine.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Dramatic Play

If your play dishes are in various colors, encourage the children to set a red place setting, a blue place setting, etc.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.

Math and Manipulatives

Make a domino game for the children to play. On one half of the domino write the name of a color in that color marker. On the other half of the domino make a dot of a color using a marker. Make 20 or so domino pieces and mix them up by colors. The children then use the domino to make chains by connecting color names to color dots. Alternate, use craft sticks. On one end write the color name and on the other end make a dot of a color.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.

Outdoor Play

Bring your crayons out to the playground and let the children color outside.

Arts/Creative Arts; begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences.

Transitions

Dismiss the children to the next activity by colors. (If you are wearing _____ line-up, wash hands, etc). For children who already know their basic colors, introduce words like rust, magenta, violet, lime, etc..

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understand an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Resources

2 ways to make domino game

Dear Children, After reading about us we hope that you can think of something that you can draw using all us beautiful colors. Please share your ideas with each other because we really want to be used. Signed, All Your Crayons.

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.