The Day the Crayons Quit Book Cover The Day the Crayons Quit
Drew Daywalt
Children's stories
Philomel Books

When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.

The crayons are not happy and each color has their own problems. This book is creative, hilarious, and sure to please even the most reluctant of readers! The story is told mostly through letters from the crayons to Duncan. Each page reveals a different letter, written by a different crayon. This book is perfect for any children who love to draw! For older children, the message of “standing up for yourself” is clear.

Classroom Activities:

  • Before reading – show students a box of crayons, have students say what they notice about them (make a list). For example, some are short, wrappers ripped, never used, etc. Students say why they crayons might look the way they do. After reading the book, ask students if they want to add anything to this list.
  • Younger students – explore their color choices when drawing. Have each child draw a picture and make a list of all the colors they used. Are there any colors they did not use? How could they have incorporated those colors into their drawings?
  • Students draw everything they can think of using one color (eg, red – hear, fire truck, fire, strawberry, tomato, etc)
  • Older students – how do you feel if someone doesn’t want to play with you? Explore the message of the book.
  • Examine Duncan’s response of using all of the crayons for his next drawing (including everyone)
  • Letter writing – what are the features of a letter? Students write a letter from a specific crayon to the teacher, complaining about the student who is writing the letter
  • Persuasive writing – have students identify what each crayon wrote to persuade Duncan. Students create their own persuasive writing piece about a set topic (for example, persuade someone they should use your favorite color).
  • Students pretend they are Duncan and write a letter to each color addressing their concerns and persuading them not to quit.
  • Explore feelings – how does each crayon feel? What could you do if you feel this way? How could you help a friend who is feeling this way?
  • Narrative writing – students pretend they are a crayon and write a story about their day/week as that color. Use examples from the letters in the book.
  • Predictions – read the first letter; students predict how other colors might feel
  • Making crayons – learn the process involved with making crayons
  • Drawing – have students draw pictures using different colors (eg, the sky could be brown, the grass red, etc)
  • Discuss who was right – Orange or Yellow

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