Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Crayon Challenge

There are always discussions on Facebook as to which brand to buy when stocking our art rooms. Art teachers are always asking other art teachers for suggestions and recommendations.

I got lucky, I had received an email a few years back asking if I would like to be part of a teacher's advisory board for Faber-Castell. I JUMPED at the chance!

Soooo recently I was asked if I would like to participate in a Crayon Challenge*. And of course I agreed. Now having been part of this advisory board for a few years and receiving many of their products for free, I was concerned about favoritism and that perhaps I couldn't quite be as objective as I would like to be. So I got my students involved.

It was the last week of classes and students were given many choices as to what they could be doing in art. Click here for those details. I then asked for a group of volunteers to come to the back table for the Crayon Challenge. I had about 5 students at a time and as students finished more could take the challenge if they wanted to.

Now since our mascot is a lion and since this last week was about using up photo copies I handed them a sheet with 4 outlined lions. Click here to see how I used them in a lesson. One lion for each brand they would be trying out.

I had students mark each lion with the brand name. They had Crayola, Cra-Z-Art, Faber-Castell and RoseArt.
As they were coloring I asked them to think about the following questions when evaluating which of the crayons they liked the best. What crayon colored the smoothest? Which crayon had the best coverage? Whose brand had the most vibrant color? Which crayon had less of a chance of breaking? Which crayons blended the best? And when they told me which one they liked the best I wanted them to tell me why.

I'm pretty happy to report that Faber-Castell came out on top as to which crayon the students loved. Coverage was great, color is vibrant, very smooth coloring and due to the thickness of the crayon, it would be harder to break.

Now I would have thought Crayola would have come in second, because that's what I usually have available for my students, however, many of the students picked Cra-Z-Art because the colors were paler and they liked the softer look of that product. I found that to be interesting.

My take away from this, is to think about involving your students in the process of picking out the brands you purchase for your art room. It really shouldn't be too expensive to buy a small pack of a few different brands of crayons or even markers, colored pencils or paint to try with your students. If you attend conferences, you will be able to pick up free samples. And another thought I have is to write/email companies and ask for samples. It's worth a try.

I would like to know how you decide what brands to buy.

Thanks for Reading!

*Disclaimer: products were sent to me for review and all opinions are my own and/or my student's. I will receive free merchandise for compensation.

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