By: Renee Allen

Renee Allen

Education Collaborator

Renee Allen is a multi-hyphenate Jamaican-born, Toronto-based, writer-educator, with a passion for working with children and youth. She is deeply committed to work that interrogates and addresses interlocking systems of oppression. Her writing appears in Zora, THIS magazine and PREE. Renee is also a recent graduate of the Masters of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with a book collection that keeps outgrowing her bookcase.

Lesson Plan: Strike! Strike! Strike!Download

Overarching Critical Inquiry Question

*These questions can be used to guide your discussion at the beginning of the lesson time.* 

How can united voices advocate for a common cause? 

Overarching Critical Task

Using an accessible medium, create a product expressing solidarity with a current labour movement. (e.g. letters, picket sign, slogan banner etc.) 

Lesson Critical Inquiry Question

What parallels are there between the impact of collective action in The Day the Crayons Quit and the Nine Hour Movement?

Lesson Critical Inquiry Task 

Consider a current labour movement (education workers, Amazon workers, migrant farmworkers, etc.) and create signage or organize a letter-writing campaign in support of their cause (communicate your cause with a catchy title, invoke action using assertive language, use words that connect with your intended audience etc.).

Central Ideas/Learning Goals

Key Competencies 

  • Effective communication 
  • Critical assessment of events 
  • Problem solving 
  • Analytical skills 

Related Concepts

  • Historical context 
  • Conflict resolution 

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will draw parallels between The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and the Nine Hour Movement. Through exploring The Day the Crayons Quit, students will identify the important roles that exist in the labour movement and how they collectively contribute to achieving shared goals. To do this, students will use mind maps or other graphic organizers to identify the role of each crayon in the story and draw parallels with the Nine Hour Movement. As the lesson progresses, students will develop an understanding of the plight of the crayons and identify a modern labour movement they would like to show solidarity with. The lesson concludes with students creating signage or a letter-writing campaign in support of their chosen labour movement. 

Materials & Preparation Required

Launching the Learning 

Read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt as a class.

Create a list of new characters as they’re introduced. 

Building Important Background Knowledge

Appendix 1: The Day the Crayons Quit Discussion Questions 

Set the Task 

Inform students that they will be creating signage or a letter-writing campaign to show solidarity with a labour movement they’ve previously identified. Both products should: 

Explore Kids Show Their BLM Signs to give students reference points about protest signs. The letters the crayons wrote in the story can be used as a reference point for letter-writing campaigns. 

Co-create Success Criteria for Signage/Letters 

Collaborate with students to create a list of criteria they can use to evaluate the effectiveness of their products (signage or letters)
Success criteria might consider:
Provide students with an opportunity to showcase their products, both digitally or in-person, depending on the most accessible format. Potential ways to showcase work:
Lesson Plan: Strike! Strike! Strike!Download