Skills Building: The Invisible Boy (PK-5)

Written by Trudy Ludwig and Illustrated by Patrice Barton

TEKS: Reading K.5(C); 1.7(C); 2.7(C); 3.7(C); 4.7(C); 5.7(C)

Pre Reading Questions

  1. Think of a time when you felt left out. What did it feel like to be excluded?
  2. Think of a time when you were invited to play in a group or you invited someone to play after seeing they were feeling left out. How does it feel to be included in a group?
  3. Without naming names, have you ever noticed quiet or shy classmates receiving less attention or excluded from games compared to more outgoing classmates?
  4. When you notice a classmate being left out, what do you do?
  5. What do you think this book might be about? 

Post Reading Questions

  1. After reading the book, what are some ways you can include classmates that feel left out? 
  2. How do you think Brian felt when Justin invited him to work in his group? 
  3. What did the students do to make Brian feel invisible? How did that change and what did they do to make him feel seen? 
  4. How can you reach out to a classmate who might feel invisible?
  5. What is this story trying to teach us? 

Creative Enrichment Activity: Invisible Identity Art (Pre-K-5)

Overview: Sometimes we can feel invisible to the world around us, but with a little magic, people can see the beauty of who we are. In this activity, students will create unique pieces of art using the crayon resist watercolor technique.


● White watercolor paper or cardstock cut into squares
White crayons
Watercolor paints
Paint brushes
Cups of water
Paper towels
Tables or flat surfaces for students to work together

Duration: 30 minutes 

3 minutes – Explain the activity and pass out supplies
20 minutes – Create crayon resist art
2 minutes – Clean up
5 minutes – Reflect on the activity


  1. Before the activity, cut white watercolor paper or cardstock into squares. 
  2. Gather students at the tables. Talk to them about times they have felt invisible. How can they relate to the Invisible Boy
  3. Explain the art technique that will be used today. Students will be creating artwork using the crayon resist art technique. Because crayons are made of wax, when you use them first and then use watercolor over them, they do not smear. For this activity, students use white crayons. When first drawn, the design will appear invisible but once the students add watercolor over the crayon, it will appear. 
  4. Give each student a white square of watercolor or cardstock paper and a pencil.
  5. In pairs, have them work together to trace their hands on the white paper using the pencil. 
  6. Next, have students trace the pencil with a Sharpie. (This will make the design pop in the end.) Also have them write their names on the square so it can be identified. 
  7. Once their hand is traced and outlined, pass out white crayons. 
  8. Have students create different designs inside and outside of their hand drawing. The designs will turn out best if they push down hard with the crayon and use simple designs. Remember, the white crayon will be hard to see and will appear almost invisible. 
  9. Then, pass out watercolor paints, paintbrushes, water and paper towels. 
  10. Students will use the watercolor paints to fill their entire square. As they add watercolor to their painting, the white crayon will appear. 
  11. Clean up the supplies and allow the paintings to dry. 

Reflection Questions

  • How did it feel to create a design when you couldn’t see the crayon very well? 
  • Can you remember a time when you felt invisible? 
  • How did you feel when you used the watercolor to see your hand design? 
  • How does it feel when people notice you and say nice things to you? 
  • How do others feel when we notice them and invite them to join in? 
  • Why is it important to include people we may not know very well?