Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Day the Crayons Quit (Empathy)

Today I am sharing a lesson that I have been working on with my 3rd graders.  We are doing a crayon theme this month and I will be sharing some other crayon themed lessons in the next few weeks.  This particular lesson focuses on Empathy and Compassion using the book The Day the Crayons Quit.  
Product Details
Description from Amazon:  Crayons have feelings too!  Poor Duncan just wants to color.  But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing:  His crayons have had enough!  They quit!  Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon.  black wants to be used for more than just the outlining.  Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water.  And Orange and Yellow are not longer speaking--each believes he is the true color of the sun.  What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?  

To begin the lesson I read the book The Day the Crayons Quit and had a class discussion about empathy and compassion using THESE discussion questions.  The following week I assigned students to play the part of each crayon in the story and students acted out the story using this Reader's Theater Script.  I made "crayon hats" for them to put on their head as they read the script.  These were very simple to make.  I googled "crayon image" and printed out the simplest one that I could find.  I then printed them out on construction paper and stapled strips of paper around them to turn them into hats.
Next we reviewed our theme words (empathy and compassion) and each student made a crayon writing craft.  I purchased this Crayon Craft / Craftivity for $3.00 on TPT.  Students were assigned a color and instructed to write a few sentences showing that they understood how that crayon felt.  For Example, one student wrote "If I were the Red Crayon I would feel tired.  I understand how Red feels because I feel like I have to do more chores than my sister just because I'm older.  I wouldn't want to work on holidays either and I would feel like I was being treated unfairly.  I would want some time off and I would want to be treated fairly."  
Crayon Craft / Craftivity

The following week I had students respond to the crayon's letters.  Each student had been assigned a crayon color the previous week so they wrote a letter back to that crayon.  They were instructed to write a letter that showed their crayon that they understood how the crayon felt (Empathy) and to then let the crayon know what they could do to make things better (Compassion).  Here are some of their letters:

 Finished result:
You can Purchase The Day the Crayons Quit HERE.  I also think it would be fun to read The Day the Crayons Came Home.
More Connections:
Crayon Fun {FREEBIE}--Writing Activities for The Day the C

The Day the Crayons Quit
Literature Response: The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit Letter Writing Activity
Back to School: A Crayon Box Full of Activities

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