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The Crayon Box That Talked
Description: A literature-based lesson plan for primary students based on the poem, The Crayon Box That Talked
Subject: English Language Arts edit

Duration: 60 minutes edit

Grade Levels: K-2 edit

 DAN-2a  Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport (Danielson, 1996)
 DAN-3c  Engaging Students in Learning (Danielson, 1996)
 NY-ELA.K-  ...create their own stories, poems, and songs using the elements of the literature they have read and appropriate vocabulary
 PA-R.1.3.P.F  > Respond to a variety of types of literature.
 PA-R.1.6.P.D.3  >--- Listen attentively others.
 PA-R.1.6.P.E  > Participate in discussions.


After the lesson, students will understand that people may be different on the outside but they are the same on the inside, thus incorporating cooperation and friendship. Student's will also understand the importance of character traits such as respect and caring for others who are different.

  • The students will be able to discuss how people are alike and how they are different.
  • The students will discuss aspects of respect and caring for those who are different or who look different.
  • The students will develop and use skills to listen and to communicate ideas and feelings.


  • Book:  The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DeRolf, along with copies for students (see Resources)
  • Two box of crayons, one with filled with crayons, one filled with cotton balls 
  • (Handouts of the color song attached below, see Resources)
  • (Print picture frame color handout, see Resources)

Attachments: Color_Song.doc



1. Give each child a copy of the Color Song.  With crayons, have the children underline each color in the song with the color the word represents.  Practice the song with the children including the motions of each color.

2. After singing the color song, present two boxes of crayons.  Ask the children what is inside the boxes. Child will respond with crayons. State that "Yes, one box contains crayons," show them the crayons, "but the other crayon box has something else inside."  Have the children guess the contents in the other box.  Finally, show them that the crayon box contains cotton balls.  Explain to the children that what you see on the outside does not always reflect what's in the inside and that each one of  may be different on the outside but have the same feelings on the inside.

Prior Knowledge / Personal Connections

1. Have a open discussion with the children and ask "how are we different." For example, the color of hair, eyes, and skin, likes, hobbies, etc. Then discuss how we may be alike. Also, discuss feelings associated with the aspect of difference and how people treat different people.


1. Before reading the poem, open the flap of a new box of crayons and pretend the box is talking to you.

2. Read the poem with different voices that represents the colors.

Comprehension / Discussion

1. Discuss the story and how the colors did not get along in the beginning of the poem but by the end of the poem, the crayons learned that together they can make beautiful pictures.  Discuss the feelings associated with being different and how people are treated different because they act or look different.

2. Discuss the fact that even though crayons are different colors, they are all crayons and relate this to that people are also different but they are still all people.

  • Ask children how humans may be different. (skin color, hair color, eye color, age, gender, ect.)
  • Ask children if they can name some characteristics of themselves. May have to give meaning to the word characteristics.

3. Discuss the importance of students cooperating together makes the world a better picture. Discuss how we should respect one another and that we should be sensitive to the feelings of others.

  • Ask children what and how they can work together.
  • Ask children how they show respect to another person or classmate.
  • Ask children if they identify with the feelings of sadness, rejection, and so on.

Closing / Reinforcing Learning

1. Reinforce the concept that people may look different on the outside but they are the same on the inside and they have feelings so be kind and courteous to all because we all have feelings.

Follow-Up Activities

1. Follow up activities with web sites either in the classroom or computer lab. Divide children into groups and do the following activities:

  • Watch the under streaming video, How Were Different and Alike. (see resources)
  • Go to the website with The Story of Colors, this literature reinforces cooperation. (see resources)
  • Have children print out a picture frame and color themselves in a portrait. (see resources)
  • Go to the Crayola web site for fun activities and games. (see resources)

Student Evaluation:

Students will have met the lesson objectives if they can demonstrate the following:

  • Discuss the differences and likenesses of people
  • Relate their experiences of being different.

Group Discussion



Before reading the literature, give every student a copy of the, The Crayon Box That Talked, so that students wilth auditory difficulties can follow along. For the discussion, gather the students around on a literature circle rug where everyone can discuss their experience to the literature.


How We're Different and Alike (unitedstreaming video)     
Featuring lively music, colorful animation, and appealing live-action sequences, this program tells how and why people are different and alike. Body shapes; colors of eyes, hair, and skins; likes and dislikes; mental and artistic differences - all are ways of making our world more interesting and exciting. The program also shows that while many differences exist, people are also very much alike. Moreover, the presentation explains that some people may be fearful of differences, and that their fear may turn to anger and hatred when they overlook similarities and don't take time to understand the differences and why they exist. The video concludes that it's always better to see similarities and work cooperatively, especially in a country like the United States where so many different kinds of people live together. (Teacher and Student Resource)

Shane DeRolf's background information (     
A brief look at the Shane DeRolf's background and the the The Crayon Box That Talked. (Teacher Resource)

Shane DeRolf's montly column (     
Shane DeRolf gives advice on writing and publishing. (Teacher Resource)

The Story of the Colors ( by Creations by Zjuzr     
The story is based on a Native American Legend where colors quarrel in the woods until it rains and the colors come together to make a rainbow. (Teacher and Student Resource)

Songs about Colors (     
This website offfers songs that incorporate colors. (Teacher and Student Resource)

Picture Frame (     
Color yourself in a picture frame. Print handout for lesson created by Crayola. (Teacher and Student Resource)

Crayola (     
Crayola website with lots of activities and games. (Teacher and Student Resource)


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