Thursday, 3 April 2014

Purple Day Lesson / Harold and the Purple Crayon

It's Purple Day in Australia on the 26th March.  Purple Day is all about raising funds and creating awareness of Epilepsy.  You can donate to Epilepsy Australia or learn more by clicking here.

The book "Harold and the Purple Crayon" immediately came to mind when planning a Purple Day lesson.  Its a great book for children to listen to as it reminds them to use their imaginations.  A very important skill for an artist!


Harold and the Purple Crayon is a book written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson.  Crockett Johnson's understated tribute to the imagination was first published in 1955, and has been inspiring readers of all ages ever since. Harold's quiet but magical journey reminds us of the marvels the mind can create, and also gives us the wondrous sense that anything is possible. 

As usual I did a bit of a google search for lesson plans to go with this book and came up with this one from Kinderart which I used as inspiration.

What you need:
  • Black paper
  • Shapes from different purple papers  (I divided these so the children had at least 8 to choose from and placed them in brown paper bags - one per student)
  • Other purple embellishments (buttons, ribbon, sequins, beads, wool, glitter)
  • Glue Sticks (for the paper shapes) and white school glue (for the buttons and heavier objects)
  • Scissors
  • Purple and White oil pastels (or crayons)
How to:
  • Read the book "Harold and the Purple Crayon"
  • Hand out the brown paper bags and black paper
  • Tell them there are a few rules before they start:  They must draw themselves (in white pastel) holding a purple crayon.  They need to use at least 3 shapes in their pictures, they are allowed to cut one shape. They need to use their IMAGINATIONS to draw a scene around themselves using a purple oil pastel and the shapes.
  • They can add embellishments and glitter at the end
The Results:
Lots of Purple loveliness....

My Saturday class also did some Purple "Tint and Shade" Moons and Trees. 

If you need any further motivation to ensure your children use their imaginations & continue creating - read the below information taken from the "Story Time for Me" website: 

Imagination and Creativity in Early Childhood

Many parents may not realize that daydreaming is not just a “waste of time”, but actually a necessary process, essentially stimulating important cognitive activity – imaginary thought process. It is actually very important to allow children to have free time to engage in creative play and even just day dreaming. Creativity and imagination are among high level cognitive skills that need time to develop properly.  By engaging in creative projects and activities or even free play children learn to develop their unique creative skills and talents. Parents and teachers of young children need to make sure they provide sufficient opportunities and find suitable activities that will address each child’s unique creative needs. Watching television or DVDs, or playing primitive video games do not offer any possibility to develop creativity nor stimulate cognitive development. Drawing, reading children’s books, such as Harold and the Purple Crayon, coloring or doing arts and crafts projects are the types of activities that can constructively engage children and encourage them to use their imagination and creativity. Creative ideas often occur when the brain is in a relaxed state, when the mind is free to roam and reiterate on the previously learned concepts and ideas, and often come up with new meaning and generate a new outlook and understanding. Stories like Harold and the Purple Crayon can often stimulate creative thinking and encourage imaginative approach in children. By creating a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere at home or in the classroom, and using original and entertaining educational projects, parents and teachers can successfully stimulate young children’s creative thinking and help them develop unique talents and skills. Most children love to draw, but many get discouraged because of negative feedback their initial work produces from their peers and teachers. Encouraging children to engage in creative projects and praising their work can often lead to surprisingly positive results and greatly enhance their self image.


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