K Portfolios — A Purple Crayon Adventure!

I’ve always loved books, so I love to start the school year off by read­ing an art-related story to each of my classes. My favorite “art story” for Kinder­garten is Harold and the Pur­ple Crayon by Crock­ett John­son. This clas­sic children’s tale was first pub­lished in 1955 and has been hugely pop­u­lar ever since. It tells the story of a lit­tle boy named Harold who decides to go for a walk one evening, bring­ing only his pur­ple crayon with him. Harold uses his pur­ple crayon, and his imag­i­na­tion, to draw the scenery around him as his adven­ture unfolds. Chil­dren love the sim­plic­ity of this charm­ing story and the idea that your imag­i­na­tion can take you any­where!

This project uses just a marker and a pur­ple crayon — no mess and easy clean up! If you’re like me and you’re look­ing for ways to sim­plify your life, here’s a fun “first day” les­son that can be done on port­fo­lios or on reg­u­lar, heavy-weight con­struc­tion paper. Start by read­ing the story of “Harold and the Pur­ple Crayon” by Crock­ett John­son and then fol­low these easy steps:

1. Using a black (“F”) Sharpie, draw your self-portrait ver­ti­cally on your port­fo­lio. (You may want to demon­strate draw­ing a large cir­cle about 1/4th of the way down from the top, so that stu­dents don’t start their draw­ings too small.) Add lots of details! (We always do another self-portrait at the end of the year.… it’s fun to com­pare them and see the growth!)

2. Now use a pur­ple crayon to draw pic­tures all around you of the things you want to learn about in Kinder­garten.… let­ters, num­bers, bugs, flow­ers, mak­ing friends.… any­thing you can think of! Don’t for­get to draw a pur­ple crayon in your hand!

Kinder­garten art projects don’t get much eas­ier than that!!

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7 Responses to K Portfolios — A Purple Crayon Adventure!

  1. Infant Bibliophile September 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    This was one of my favorite books as a child. Not only was it fun, but I can clearly remem­ber being wowed by the con­cept that he could make any­thing hap­pen that he wanted. Such a pow­er­ful mes­sage in a fun lit­tle book! What a great idea to let the kids draw their own ver­sion. My son hasn’t taken to the book yet (he’s not quite 3), but maybe if I gave him a doo­dle pad and a pur­ple crayon, he’d change his mind. I am going to keep it in mind for when his draw­ing skills are a lit­tle more defined.

  2. Sherry and Donna September 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Hello I have just come by you blog and as a kinder­garten teacher I think it’s lovely. I haven’t had a good look around yet but I’ve already picked up some inspi­ra­tion! Thanks for shar­ing your great ideas.
    Donna :) :)

  3. Phyl September 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    My big brother is named Harold, so I always loved that book as a child. I’ve never used it in the class­room — I don’t know why not! I really like this idea.

    One thing to con­sider — I don’t use Sharpie’s with my K’s due to the tox­i­c­ity and per­ma­nence if not han­dled cor­rectly. Does every­one else use Sharpies with the young kid?

  4. TeachKidsArt September 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    Sharpies are actu­ally non-toxic! (Look for the “AP” sym­bol on the bar­rel.) The ink eas­ily comes off desks with a lit­tle rub­bing alco­hol or hand san­i­tizer, or can be erased fairly eas­ily using a Magic Rub eraser. I tell my kinders that if they pur­posely draw on their skin or clothes, I will take their Sharpie and just give them crayons. I use Sharpies all the time with K’s and it’s never a problem!

  5. barbara's thought of the day September 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    I’ve used sharpies with kinders as well, but tend to intro­duce them later in the year. We have a small bud­get and I really want to get as much mileage out of our sup­plies as pos­si­ble. I let the older kids use them first. The lit­tle ones can be a tad rough on the brand new tips:(

  6. TeachKidsArt September 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    That’s very true, Bar­bara! I usu­ally give the Kinders last year’s Sharpies and reserve the new ones for the older kids. Same with the water­color sets!! :)

  7. Anne September 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Yeah… I just made art port­fo­lios ‘your’ way. Love how easy they folded… loved how the kids were so excited to dec­o­rate them. Thanks!!!

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K Portfolios — a Purple Crayon Adventure!

I’ve always loved books, so I love to start the school year off by read­ing an art-related story to each of my classes. My favorite “art story” for Kinder­garten is Harold and the Pur­ple Crayon by Crock­ett John­son. This clas­sic children’s tale was first pub­lished in 1955 and has been hugely pop­u­lar ever since. It tells the story of a lit­tle boy named Harold who decides to go for a walk one evening, bring­ing only his pur­ple crayon with him. Harold uses his pur­ple crayon, and his imag­i­na­tion, to draw the scenery around him as his adven­ture unfolds. Chil­dren love the sim­plic­ity of this charm­ing story and the idea that your imag­i­na­tion can take you any­where!

This project uses just a marker and a pur­ple crayon — no mess and easy clean up! If you’re like me and you’re look­ing for ways to sim­plify your life, here’s a fun “first day” les­son that can be done on port­fo­lios or on reg­u­lar, heavy-weight con­struc­tion paper. Start by read­ing the story of “Harold and the Pur­ple Crayon” by Crock­ett John­son and then fol­low these easy steps:

1. Using a black (“F”) Sharpie, draw your self-portrait ver­ti­cally on your port­fo­lio. (You may want to demon­strate draw­ing a large cir­cle about 1/4th of the way down from the top, so that stu­dents don’t start their draw­ings too small.) Add lots of details! (We always do another self-portrait at the end of the year.… it’s fun to com­pare them and see the growth!)

2. Now use a pur­ple crayon to draw pic­tures all around you of the things you want to learn about in Kinder­garten.… let­ters, num­bers, bugs, flow­ers, mak­ing friends.… any­thing you can think of! Don’t for­get to draw a pur­ple crayon in your hand!

Kinder­garten art projects don’t get much eas­ier than that!!


Subscribe & Connect

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

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2 Responses to K Portfolios — a Purple Crayon Adventure!

  1. Infant Bibliophile September 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    This was one of my favorite books as a child. Not only was it fun, but I can clearly remem­ber being wowed by the con­cept that he could make any­thing hap­pen that he wanted. Such a pow­er­ful mes­sage in a fun lit­tle book! What a great idea to let the kids draw their own ver­sion. My son hasn’t taken to the book yet (he’s not quite 3), but maybe if I gave him a doo­dle pad and a pur­ple crayon, he’d change his mind. I am going to keep it in mind for when his draw­ing skills are a lit­tle more defined.

  2. Sherry and Donna September 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Hello I have just come by you blog and as a kinder­garten teacher I think it’s lovely. I haven’t had a good look around yet but I’ve already picked up some inspi­ra­tion! Thanks for shar­ing your great ideas.
    Donna :) :)

  3. Phyl September 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    My big brother is named Harold, so I always loved that book as a child. I’ve never used it in the class­room — I don’t know why not! I really like this idea.

    One thing to con­sider — I don’t use Sharpie’s with my K’s due to the tox­i­c­ity and per­ma­nence if not han­dled cor­rectly. Does every­one else use Sharpies with the young kid?

  4. TeachKidsArt September 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    Sharpies are actu­ally non-toxic! (Look for the “AP” sym­bol on the bar­rel.) The ink eas­ily comes off desks with a lit­tle rub­bing alco­hol or hand san­i­tizer, or can be erased fairly eas­ily using a Magic Rub eraser. I tell my kinders that if they pur­posely draw on their skin or clothes, I will take their Sharpie and just give them crayons. I use Sharpies all the time with K’s and it’s never a problem!

  5. barbara's thought of the day September 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    I’ve used sharpies with kinders as well, but tend to intro­duce them later in the year. We have a small bud­get and I really want to get as much mileage out of our sup­plies as pos­si­ble. I let the older kids use them first. The lit­tle ones can be a tad rough on the brand new tips:(

  6. TeachKidsArt September 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    That’s very true, Bar­bara! I usu­ally give the Kinders last year’s Sharpies and reserve the new ones for the older kids. Same with the water­color sets!! :)

  7. Anne September 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Yeah… I just made art port­fo­lios ‘your’ way. Love how easy they folded… loved how the kids were so excited to dec­o­rate them. Thanks!!!

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