Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Harold and the Purple Crayon

When I was a little girl this was one of my favorite stories:
Harold and the Purple Crayon

Crayons were always available to me as a child, (my parents were both artists) and Harold lived in a world of blank paper! What could be better? As a parent & teacher I have read this story many times with children. I thought you might be interested to know some of the activities I have followed it up with.

In the story (for those of you who have not read it) Harold takes his crayon with him on a walk where he proceeds to draw adventures, supplying everything he needs. When he needs more light, he draws a moon to shine on his path. When he wants a walk in the forest, he draws a tree. But occasionally Harold's drawing has some unexpected results, as the dragon he drew to protect the apples frightens him his hand shakes and he draws the waves sea. In the end, Harold's purple crayon and imagination comes to the rescue and we find him safe at home in bed. It's a delightful tale written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson. (Did you know there are over ten Harold stories!) These activities follow the story, share the story aloud with the group first, familiarizing them with the story before beginning the activities.

Purple Crayon Activities for Children:

1.) Cooperation: group activity: Creating a Purple Mural
(or a red, green, yellow...mural)
provide the children with a large piece of butcher paper or newsprint
various shades of purple (crayons, markers etc.)
encourage them to create images from their imagination

2.) Coloring to music.
Play music without words, while the children listen, they can draw with crayons.

3.) Story dictation
Encourage the children to make up a story while drawing and you record it. When done, read it back to them (or share with the group) aloud while the child displays his or her drawings.

4.) Act Out the Story!
Provide a large cardboard purple crayon props and read the story out loud at circle.
Every child can be 'Harold' and move their crayons in the air 'drawing' the images in the book.

Have fun!


alexis said...

I've noticed that book several times at the library, now I'll have to check it out.I love the idea of acting out the story. This post also makes me want to say no to coloring books and yes to blank paper more often. Blank paper seems so much more encouraging for a child's imagination than pre-drewn lines, don't you think?

plaidshoes said...

I always like this book, too. Something about creating your world (at least that is how I imagined it as a child)!

Sadaf Trimarchi said...

I loved these ideas! We're big arts and crafts fans over here, and I love crayons for the easy clean up factor. I also like the idea of tying in books we read to activities we can do together. Thanks!


Montessori Mama said...

About coloring books:
I love both blank pieces of paper and coloring books! I was a big coloring book/paper doll fan as a young girl. In the classroom I will say coloring sheets are rarely offered however, an easel is always available. The way I see it is: there is so much to do in the classroom environment that coloring sheets become a distraction where as the blank paper on the easel is an invitation for expression and zen-like moments of creativity.
Story stretchers are a favorite of mine. I'm glad you enjoy them too. thanks for your comments!

Natalie said...

Good morning. I am out and about, visiting blogs, and I stumbled upon your lovely site when I followed your comment at "Village Mama." Your blog is beautiful and generous, very inspiring. I look forward to returning for more. Thank you.

RYD said...

I also like Harold And The Purple Crayon (I have the one where he cannot decide what to get his mom for her birthday). Your ideas, however, are great! In winter we are constantly in the house and these activities are crucial to keeping the peace. :) Thanks!

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