Lesson Plan

Bellen Woodard, Identity and “Crayon Activism”

Bellen Woodard on a Swing

Bellen Woodard

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GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Speaking & Listening, Language

SEL STANDARDS*: Self Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making

Who is Bellen Woodard?

Bellen Woodard lives in Leesburg, VA with her parents and four brothers. When Bellen was eight-years-old, she had an experience that changed her life and changed the world. When Bellen was in third grade, she noticed that her classmates asked for the “skin color crayon” and that everyone automatically knew or assumed that was the peach color crayon. Bellen knew something was wrong with this. Using “skin color crayon” instead of the specific crayon color excludes Black and other people of color like her. After changing the language in her school, Bellen started the “More Than Peach Project,” which includes crayons with various skin tones and complexions across the world. Bellen began by donating crayons to schools in her area and she still donates to groups around the country and the world. In 2022, she published a picture book about this experience. 

About the Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to explore and understand more about Bellen Woodard and her experience in school, reflect on aspects of their identity and learn what activism is and how they can change something they think is unfair or unjust.    

Learning Objectives: 

  • Students will understand what happened to Bellen Woodard and be motivated to take action.  

  • Students will explore what identity is and consider the different aspects of their identity. 

  • Students will understand what activism is and identity something they want to change in their community or the world.  

* Based on CASEL's SEL Framework