Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Crayon Box that Talked: A District Collaboration

Last school year (2011-2012), my district incorporated an all-school read.  We were introduced to the book "The Crayon Box that Talked" by Shane DeRolf on the first institute day, read to us by the curriculum director herself!

There are plenty of videos on the internet, but I found this one to be the best.  Click here to view the video.

After the book was read to the entire district, we were asked to come up with our own lesson inspired by the book...all grades levels, K-8.

When I saw we were to read this book, I was excited to see that a book about art materials would be the main attraction all school year.  I even asked permission to present at the state and national art education conferences on our district collaboration, which will be coming up this next fall and spring.

A district collaboration is great for implementing all of the core curriculum standards and integrating multiple standards as well.  It enhanced literacy, writing, and even mathematics!  And more importantly for me, the fine arts standards were touched upon throughout the entire district.

I wanted to share some ideas that were given to me by the other elementary teachers and specials classes:

This was a great collaboration project with the upper grade levels and first graders.  The students used a venn diagram to identify what makes them unique, then found similarities, which were placed in the center of the diagrams.

In 2nd Grade, the students reflected on what made them unique, as well as how their class was like a box of crayons.

This 3rd grade project was made closer to Thanksgiving.  The teacher shared the story with her students, then had them identify and label in each finger (or feather) of the turkey traits that made then unique.

This kindergarten project was a nice one!  The teacher first had the students draw what a world would look like without color, then had them create the same picture with color!  I love cross-curricular...especially when the homerooms are using art!

The first graders had fun creating a mural of crayons...each one representing themselves!

In band!!!  The students performed their own music inspired by the book itself.  There was even a school musical written by the music teachers!

One of my art colleagues decided to make a color wheel project.  She gave each grade level a color, then had the students draw self-portraits.  After piecing together, the color banner was placed along the wall and stayed up all school year!

Another art colleague created classroom crayons.  She cut out all the crayon shapes, then cut each crayon down to pieces.  Every student in the class received a piece of the crayon to draw their own self portraits.  Once pieced together, each class had their own crayon!  For the all-school musical, all crayons were displayed on the back wall.

And now, here's the one I created:

This was my publicity photo.  The mural was made to cover an entire wall, and all 650 students created their own self portrait to hang on the wall and colored however they wished.  I had the students using multicultural crayons and colored pencils for their skin, then asked them to color the rest their favorite colors and designs.

I loved doing this project.  I was also crying when it had to come down at the end of the year!

The main lesson of the was reflected in the last page of the story.  And as my centerpiece, I wanted to share it as well:

1 comment:

  1. I missed this post before so thanks for referencing it once more. I've used this book for several years with my first grade art classes as a springboard to cooperative work. The focus is of course how wonderful things turn out when we work together. Classes are in the process of creating a group mural in classes now. I enjoy the opportunity of listening to them plan together and practicing talking to one another in a supportive an cooperative way. I'll post the murals when they are finished with more information on the process in a week or two.