Project Title: Harold and the purple crayon
Description: Book making
Author: Mary Hager
Grade level or Target Age Range: Preschool
Vocabulary: imagination, problem solving
Materials: Large construction paper, crayons.
Anticipatory Set: Read Harold and The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
The protagonist, Harold, is a curious four-year-old boy who, with his purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it.
Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there is no moon, so he draws one. He has nowhere to walk, so he draws a path. He has many adventures looking for his room, and in the end he draws his own house and bed and goes to sleep.
- Pre-fold large piece of construction paper into a small flip book (refer to book making link above). With older groups, have the students complete the paper folding themselves.
- Introduce the book Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
- As Harold encounters each problem, have the students draw exactly what Harold draws. For example, Harold drew an apple tree because he thought there should be a forest where he was standing (so the class drew an apple tree). After drawing the tree, he decided that there should be a monster protecting his apples when they ripened (each student should draw a scary monster next to their tree).
- Continue these steps until the book is finished.
- Have the students decorate the cover of their book.
Discussion: Share Harold and the Purple Crayon with children and then ask:
- If you had a magic purple crayon, what would you draw?
- What could you draw to make your neighborhood a better place? Your city? Your state? The world?
- Encourage children to think about the different things Harold drew to get himself out of each dilemma he encountered.
- Then offer some situations to the children (these encourage the use of their imagination!
- Harold is flying a kite. The kite gets stuck in a tree! What can Harold draw?
- Harold is taking a walk. It starts to rain. Harold is getting soaked! What can Harold draw?
- Slowly reading the book and stopping at each dilemma Harold encountered worked great with the preschool class.They gave me their full attention while they eagerly anticipated what happened next.
- Drawing what Harold drew was also very important because it reinforced the concept of problem solving to the students.
- Having a discussion after the art project is important in order to reinforce the focus of the lesson.
- This can be adapted by using different stories.