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Students create their ownHarold and the Purple Crayonstyle drawing story here


Art, Language Arts  


1, 2, 3, 4, 5  

Title – Crayon Creation
By – Cesily Peeples
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Art
Grade Level – 1-5 
Duration – 2-4 weeks

Description: Using Harold and the Purple Crayon as inspiration, the students will tap into their imagination to create their own crayon drawing. When they have finished, they will share their drawing with their classmates to get feedback. Then, they will use the feedback and their crayon drawing to a write story.


  1. Students will gain confidence in their writing as they work through the writing process.
  2. Students will understand how to give positive feedback to their classmates when asked to meet in sharing groups. Objective: Students will show growth in their creative writing abilities and sharing abilities.


  • Harold and the Purple Crayon
  • Crayons
  • Art Paper
  • Notebook paper
  • Pens/Pencils


  1. The teacher introduces this activity by reading Harold and the Purple Crayon . The students not only need to hear the story, but they need to have a chance to enjoy Harold’s crayon drawings.
  2. After the teacher has read the book, the students need to select one crayon and pick up a piece of art paper.
  3. Before the students start drawing, the teacher needs to give the following directions: With your one crayon, draw your own story. The teacher should give the students about 20 minutes to draw their stories.
  4. At the end of the 20 minutes, have the students meet in small groups (3 students) to tell their stories orally and brainstorm things they could add to their stories. The feedback given during this sharing activity needs to be positive; it needs to give the students confidence to keep writing. If they have confidence in what they are writing, then they will stay motivated throughout the writing and revising stages of their stories.
  5. When the students finish with sharing, they need to start writing their stories. The students need to have plenty of time to develop their stories. (You could give them an entire class period, but I suggest that you give them time over the course of a week — maybe 20 minutes a day to complete this task. If you give them too much time within a class period, they may lose focus.)
  6. When the students have brought their stories to a comfortable ending, have them meet in new sharing groups (3-4 students) to get more feedback on their stories. Remember to communicate that the feedback given needs to be positive.
  7. After this sharing activity, the students need to revise their stories as they see fit and get them ready for the publishing stage of the writing process. (You may want to set an actual deadline at this point, so all the students have had a chance to participate in the final sharing activity.)
  8. On the deadline day, the students meet together in groups of 4-5 students. In these groups they will work through the editing process. (You will decide what you would like them to edit in regards to spelling, word usage, sentence structure, word choice, etc. Your choices depend on what concepts you have taught in your class.)
  9. After the students have had a chance to edit each other papers, they need to have a chance to revise. (If the students have typed their papers, then they should only need about 20 minutes to revise. If the students’ stories are handwritten, then they will need enough time to make corrections and rewrite their final copy.)
  10. In celebration of their accomplishment, have the students come together as a class and give the students a chance to share their story. (And as before, this sharing activity needs to be completely positive. Any concerns can be handled at a later date with a mini-lesson.)

Assessment: As the students read their stories, make note of their individual growth and any concerns. (You may want to put together a mini-lesson to address any issues that you observed during the class sharing activity.) The teacher needs to decide how these stories need to be graded. (The best suggestion would be to focus on the development of ideas, organization, and voice. Word choice, sentence structure, and/or conventions should only be evaluated if class lessons have addressed those traits. The students need to be held accountable for only the things addressed in class.) Special Comments:

      Crockett Johnson’s book

Harold and the Purple Crayon

      inspired the focus of this lesson, but the theory behind the process of this lesson comes from Joyce Armstrong Carroll and Edward E. Wilson’ s book

Acts of Teaching: How to Teach Writing

      as well as Vicki Spandel’s book

Creating Writers


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