In The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Duncan learns his crayons have different needs when they communicate their problems with the way he treats them. Its themes include:
- Walk in someone else’s shoes.
- Communicate needs and wishes to be understood and respected.
- Consider the feelings and point of view of others.
- Everyone has a different purpose and different needs.
- Negotiation can bring about change and conflict resolution.
The Day the Crayons Quit also promotes:
- fairness and inclusiveness
- different perspectives
- persuasion and advocation
- activism and protest
- problem and solution
- point of view
- character traits
Scroll down for The Day the Crayons Quit activities, discussion questions and videos.
The Day the Crayons Quit Summary
Duncan’s crayons have had enough. They have quit. When Duncan opens his box of crayons, it is empty except for a pile of letters. Each letter describes the crayons’ frustrations and their treatment by Duncan.
Each crayon expresses its grievances, describing how Duncan uses them (or doesn’t), the problem with his behaviour, along with possible solutions.
Red, blue and grey feel overworked, peach is naked, pink feels under-appreciated, purple wants to do other things and black feels misunderstood. Green, who has no personal complaints, pleads with Duncan on behalf of fighting yellow and orange. They are fighting over who is the proper colour of the sun. The crayons all hope Duncan will take on board their suggestions for change.
Duncan considers all their perspectives and creates an illustration using the crayons in a way that takes their feelings into consideration to persuade his crayons to come home.
The Day the Crayons Quit (1), The Day the Crayons Came Home (2)
- The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
- The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
- Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
- Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
- The True Story of the Three Little Pig by Jon Scieszka
- Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett
The Day the Crayons Quit Activities & Resources
I have created literacy graphic organizers for The Day the Crayons Quit. You can find them at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. There are many activities for each literacy area to differentiate depending on your student’s ability/age. They include activities for:
- Author’s Purpose
- Cause & Effect
- Character Traits and Analysis
- Inferring and Predicting
- Main Idea and Theme
- Making Connections
- Point of View
- Problem and Solution
- Retelling, Sequencing and Summarizing
*Click on these links to discover book recommendations on these topics.
The Day the Crayons Quit Activities & Links
- CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals: Visual Literacy notes
- Crayons Picture Books: Educator’s Guide and Activities
- Crayons Picture Books: Vote for Your Favourite Crayon
- Penguin: Educator’s Guide
- Prindle Institute for Ethics: Guidelines for Philosophical Discussion
- Reading is Fundamental: Guide for Educators
Would you like free graphic organisers for The Day the Crayons Quit?
I have a freebie that is part of a larger resource so you can try it out before buying anything!
Fill in the form below to get access to the FREE pack. Click on the image to see the full pack on Teachers Pay Teachers.
The Day the Crayons Quit Read-Aloud Questions
Read aloud sessions are a wonderful way for children to understand the connection between written text and spoken language. You can model reading habits and strategies, reading fluency, tone and eye contact. You can also introduce different genres, authors and illustrators.
- What do you think Drew Daywalt wants us to learn from reading The Day the Crayons Quit?
- What did you learn from reading The Day the Crayons Quit?
- Describe the problem faced by Duncan and how he solved it.
- How did the illustrations help you understand The Day the Crayons Quit?
- How would you describe Duncan?
- Why do you think the crayons wrote letters to Duncan?
- How do Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers show the emotions of the crayons throughout the book?
- How do Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers make it clear the character traits of each crayon?
- Which crayon do you think gives the best reason for quitting?
- Are there boys’ and girls’ colours? Explain your answer.
- What did Duncan learn from reading the letters from his crayons?
- Why did Duncan’s teacher give him a “good work” sticker for colouring and a gold star for creativity?
- How did Duncan make all his crayons happy?
- How do you think Duncan will treat all his crayons in the future?
- Do you colour things the ‘proper’ colour? Why or why not?
- Why do you sometimes choose to colour something in a different colour than it is in real life?
- Why do some crayons use capital letters in their message to Duncan?
- Do you think it was fair of the crayons to quit doing their job? Explain your answer.
- What do the crayons think about the other colours?
The Day the Crayons Quit Book Videos
Books by Drew Daywalt
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