Tag Archives: visual storytelling

Harold’s Circus

Harold's Circusbookcover

“Harold’s Circus”

Harold and his purple crayon are back with a new adventure – the circus. Come along as Harold performs circus acts from bravest lion tamer to trapeze artist to tightrope walker to human cannonball.


Oops! What will Harold draw to save himself as he tumbles through air?

This story promotes creativity, imagination, discovery and humor.

TITLE: Harold’s Circus

AUTHOR: Crockett Johnson

ILLUSTRATOR: Crockett Johnson

PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Publishers 1987, 1959


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, imagination


1) What do you think would happen to the story if Harold used a color other than purple? Whey do you think Crockett Johnson chose to use a purple crayon?

2) If you were a circus performer, which act would you perform and why?

3) Spend some time researching different circus acts. What is it about these acts that draw an audience’s attention? Invent a new circus act.


To learn more about author/illustrator Crockett Johnson, visit:


Creative Thinking Prompt: Imagine A Story

Creative Thinking Prompt: Imagine A Story


Create a story that uses all seven of these words:








Think Deeper: Take a dictionary and open it to any page. Without looking, randomly place your finger on a word. Do this six times. Use the six words you found to write a short story.

Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

Creative Thinking Prompt: Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

heartOur minds can quickly assign meaning to images. A stop sign means stop. A heart means love. The letters of the alphabet are lines and curves assembled in specific patterns to create meaning. Even math uses symbols such as  ∞ , >,  ≠  to denote meaning.

When additional images are added to a single image, what happens? A picture.

Brainstorm what the purpose of a picture is.

When you brainstorm, write down all your ideas as they come to you. Do not analyze them. This is not the time for that because you want to think up the most original, creative idea you can. The more ideas you have, the more unusual your ideas become. Eventually, you run out of ideas. Don’t stop. Push yourself to think of at least five more ideas because at this point unique ideas originate.

How can a picture tell a story? Look at a wordless picture book.

What elements does a picture need in order to tell a story? Here are some to get started.

-Background: color use, frame or no frame, place, time

-Perspective: point of view of the character, is the character at the forefront or the back of the

-Personality: clothing, facial expression (eyes, tilt of head, mouth, ears), what is the character doing, age

What are some other elements that help tell the story of a picture?