3rd – 5th Grade

• Discussion Questions: What happens to crayons when people are finished using them? Can crayons be recycled? Why would that be important? How can your old crayons help someone else? Explain to students that old broken crayons can be recycled and sent to a special crayon recycling center. They are melted down and made into new crayons. Everyone, no matter how young, can help make a difference in helping planet Earth. Sixty tons of crayons are made daily. Wax crayons are made of petroleum, a chemical that is toxic to our environment. If we didn’t recycle, the crayons would eventually end up in our landfills and never breaks down. How long does it take for other things to decompose? What is recycling and why people do it? You can also use these discussion points as part of your English Language Arts Standards for Common Core in the form of listening to delivered information and asking comprehension questions or as (Production and Distribution of Writing) Reading Information and Comprehension exercises.

• Video Project: Have older kids create a video that will be presented school-wide about The Crayon Initiative and what your plans are for collecting. This should be done at the start of your campaign and used as an introduction to all grade levels.

• The Day the Crayons Quit: There are some really great picture books called The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home that would be excellent literature connections. For Common Core Standards relating to these books (k-5) please visit http://www.penguin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ CrayonsGuide-revised15-nocrops.pdf.

• Decomposing: Include crayons in your Next Generation Science Standards Decomposition lesson. Here is a great example of a lesson plan: http://www.calacademy.org/educators/lesson-plans/ compost-a-scientific-investigation.

• Math: After the first few days of crayon collection (before the number becomes unmanageable) incorporate the recycled crayons into a math activity involving ratios. Additionally, this activity will allow students to see the progress their efforts have yielded in a short period of time.

• Life Cycle of a Crayon: Connect this lesson to plant or animal life cycles. Teachers can incorporate the idea of the three R’s for recycling. Students can illustrate the process or actually see the process by melting down some crayons in class in a science lab.

• Persuasive Letters: In your ELA Opinion Literacy lessons: For upper elementary grades the students can practice their persuasive opinion-based writing skills by writing a local restaurant and persuading them to participate in the program.

• Junk Sculptures: Have the kids bring in items they would normally throw away. Show pictures of junk sculptures. Give them modeling clay and let them create sculptures and explain them and the items they used.

• Visit Local Establishments: With the help and coordination of parent/teacher volunteers, invite older students to visit local restaurants or related companies/organizations that might be willing to contribute to the school’s collection. Let them explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. This might also be a good way to get local sponsorship for shipping costs.

• Decorate Furniture: Visit flatgoods.com and either purchase or have a piece of white cardboard furniture donated. This is a wonderful company that promotes recycling and the environment. Cardboard is great because, when designed the right way, it can be just a strong as wood. Plus, it uses far less “tree” than actual solid wood. Cardboard furniture is so lightweight, it reduces shipping costs. Of course, it’s also recyclable. The furniture is easy to assemble with a few folds and will last 1-3 years before being 100% recycled again. Have the students color and decorate the item. If you have multiple pieces, make this a contest. The recycled cardboard furniture can either serve as classroom furniture or be auctioned off as part of your fundraising events.

• The Wonderment: This is a wonderful site that offers creative project challenges to kids. The Wonderment has created a specific challenge for The Crayon Initiative users. The specific project can be found at https://thewonderment.com/path/color-something-new/. The theme of the challenge is “If you could make something exist just by drawing it, what would you draw first?” After your students complete the assignment, just upload their drawings to the site!

• Writing Assignment: In your ELA Informative/Explanatory Literacy lessons incorporate The life cycle of a crayon from creation through recycling.


Download the pdf with all the information on the School Program Guide or continue with the following links: