The beginning of the school year is a busy time filled with teaching expectations and procedures. However, it is also a time to celebrate just how diverse and important each student is to your classroom! Just like a box of crayons, each student plays an important role in the overall picture. For this reason, I love to read The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DeRolf. But why stop there? Two books that pair well with this text are The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, and A Day With No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch.
I want to share some activities you can use with these picture books in your classroom.
Since all of these picture books have a color crayon theme, a crayon craft is a must-have! This crayon craft is a trifold that doubles as a response booklet and it can be used with any of the three books previously mentioned. After printing the crayon template onto various colors, you can pick from 5 different writing templates to glue to the inside of the craft.
I have included six discussion questions for each book. Some of the questions are text-based and others are more open-ended. These discussion questions can be used with the whole class, in a small group setting, or in student journals for written response practice.
Two of the stories have crayons that either talk or speak by writing letters. Students can use these talking crayon templates to quote the crayons from the text, to write advice, or to even have a conversation between two crayons.
In The Day the Crayons Quit, the crayons write letters to Duncan to express their feelings. Students can pretend to be Duncan and write friendly letters back to the crayons. These crayon labels can be added to your friendly letter anchor chart so students can make sure to include the five parts of a friendly letter. There are also letter templates included for each color crayon mentioned in the text.
A Day with No Crayons is a great story for identifying cause & effect. I use a sentence frame to help guide my students:
Because _______, then ________.
Here’s an example from the book:
Knowing that each class is different, I have included a few options for retelling the stories. These can be used with any of the picture books. You can pick and choose what will work best with your students.
I have also added a few colorful extras for your fast finishers! These include a word scramble, word search, ABC order, color mixing, and a color hunt.
You can find all of these resources and more here: