Art & Literacy: The Day the Crayons Quit

Great stories can inspire great art and can also strengthen literacy. There is a great article by English teacher Judith Jester, who sites the powerful, proven connections between art and literacy.  Art does not always get the credit it deserves, therefore I try to include links to articles and research whenever possible.

I know now that developing the literate lives of my students is sometimes best achieved not by words alone (Jester 2003).

This week we read, The Day the Crayons Quit. The book tells the story of a few overworked crayons who quit for various reasons. Some crayons work on holidays (red), others are disgruntled because their paper wrapper was removed and yellow and orange are no longer speaking because they cannot agree on the true color of the sun. Each crayon writes a letter expressing their feelings in words and pictures. Together, we all laughed (and laughed) then created these masterpieces.

We began with a guided drawing. I demonstrated how crayons are drawn by using lines and shapes (elements of art), then each student was responsible for drawing images of things that were the color they selected.


If you have not read this one, it’s worth reading!


Jester, J. (n.d.). National Writing Project. Retrieved September 30, 2016, from


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