Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Day The Crayons Quit

Author: Drew Daywalt
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Grade level: Preschool-3

Buy it here!

Summary: A young boy Duncan goes to take out his crayons one day in class.  However, instead of the crayons, Duncan finds a stack of letters addressed to him.  Duncan starts to read the letters and finds out that they are from his crayons.  Each crayon wrote Duncan a letter to tell him some of the complaints they have.  For example, the red crayon is tired of working so hard and working all year long, even on holidays!  The pink crayon wants to be used more often and not just for "girly" things.  Pink crayon would like to see an occasional pink dinosaur, or monster.  Each crayon has their share of complaints, except for green who has no complaints aside from the fact that yellow crayon and orange crayon are no longer speaking to each other.  After reading the 12 letters from his crayons, Duncan comes up with an idea.  Duncan colors a picture while taking into account each crayons request.  He draws pink dinosaurs and airplanes, orange whales, a green ocean and a yellow sky.  He uses his crayons in a way he never has before, just to make them happy.  In the end Duncan gets an A for coloring and an A+ for creativity! 

Element: Element 2 is Respect for Others.  In this book, Duncan learns that each crayon feels a different way.  Through the letters it is clear that Duncan treats his crayons differently.  After reading all of the letters Duncan decides to treat the crayons differently.  He respects the wishes that they have.  Duncan learns to respect the crayons and we see that in the end when he uses the crayons in the exact way they want to be used.  Through this story we can learn that it is important to respect others because sometimes we might think people are okay with how they treat them but in reality they feel different. 

Activity: The Day the Crayons Quit is a wonderful book to read to students in the preschool-3 grade level.  It can teach students the idea of respect and also about creativity.  After reading this book in my classroom I would start by talking about how the crayons felt.  What kind of emotions was the red crayon feeling?  He was feeling tired and overworked.  I would do this for each crayon to incorporate the idea of emotions.  After the discussion part I would have my students color a picture like Duncan did.  I would have the students color a picture any way they wanted.  They could have a pink sky and a blue sun, etc.  I would tell them to use the crayons how they think the crayons want to be used.

1 comment:

  1. Super cute book. Bought it for my soon to be three year old. Reads well, has lots of teaching opportunities, and my child loves it.
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