Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Crayon Box That Talked

Today we did a super cute activity that I want to share!  It went so well with my new group of kiddos!  Maybe because they're second graders and I'm not used to them being somewhat independent.  Hmm. 

Have you ever read The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf?

It's a short cute story about a girl who buys a box of crayons that say mean things about each other.  She takes them home and uses them together to create a picture.  Get it?  She had to use them all together to make the picture.

So I took that idea and ran with it!  We discussed that how the crayons all needed to pitch in to create the picture or it wouldn't have been possible.  We talked about how as a class there are a lot of times where we need to work together, and when they're in small groups they need to work together to complete activities.

I then put my students in four groups of 4-5.  I gave each student in a group a different color crayon.  Some groups got different colors than other groups.  Then I passed out a white piece of construction/poster paper.  Their job was to work together to decide what to draw with the colors they had, then to actually draw the picture being sure it flowed together.

Take a look.........

And the finished products.........

A ship, duh!  Look, they even drew the holes for cannons and a swordfish statue on the front of the ship.  And they added fireworks!

A simple house on a hill.  This group spent a lot of time helping each other figure out how to draw what they wanted.

Scenery picture complete with flowers and a tree swing.  That would be a "bluebird" in the sky... read below for the story!

This group had some tough colors to work with.  It took them awhile to decide on what to draw but a person was a perfect choice.

I was AMAZED at how great they worked together.  I've been doing this activity at the beginning of the year for five years now and it never went so smoothly!  And their pictures came out great!  They also had great conversations about what to draw and how they could help each other.  AND there was even a hilarious conversation in one group about a kickball blue bird that someone drew.  One of my students drew a bluebird in their picture and another group member said.... with a completely straight face.... "what is that? that does not look like a blue bird.  what is it supposed to be?"  And the rest of the group was cracking up!!  He just kept on making comments about the "bluebird."  But his face remained completely serious.  I don't know, maybe you had to be there!  My eyes were watering because I was laughing so hard and the best part was that it just showed how all the students were having a great time!



  1. I love that book! It is great for building community in the classroom. I had forgotten about it. Thanks for sharing. The pictures turned out so cute! :)


  2. This is so clever and I think some of my high school kids could actually benefit from a reminder of the importance of working together to create great things. I like the person - he reminds me of Willy Wonka!

    1. Tessica, I'm sure it would work with the older kids! Just imagine how great their pictures would be if they worked together!


  3. What a fun activity! I am a new follower!
    Chickadee Jubilee

  4. Cyndi-
    Thanks so much for sharing! I love this book. I use it with my first graders. This year I gave them all a box of crayons. But the box was filled with only one color! It is so much fun to hear their gasps as they open the box.
    I am a new follower!!

  5. Hi Cyndi!

    I stumbled across your blog {this post in particular} and *loved* your follow-up idea for this book! I did a very similar activity with my kiddies this past year and just recently wrote a post about it for a blog linky party. I hope you don't mind but I used some of your images from this post {linking back to you, of course!}. I couldn't NOT share your activity, I just love it!!!

    You can check out the post I featured you in here:

    Again, I hope you don't mind!!! Thanks for your creativity and inspiration!
    Fun With Firsties