Lesson Plans

These plans outline some of the activities you might want to include in a monster project. There are more detailed book plans under the Books link.


Preparing the Students for Adjective Work

A book choice for the first class is Hairy, Scary, Ordinary - What is an Adjective by Brian P Cleary. It prepares the students to think about describing a monster. Before reading the book, make a list of some adjectives the students can think of to describe a monster. As the book is being read, pause to write down the adjectives used in the book.

After the story is read, demonstrate opening a favorite food word web. If you are using Kidspiration, the students can look in the library for a favorite food. They will then record two or three adjectives for each of the five senses: seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and hearing.

Preparing the Students for Adjective Work

A book choice for the second class is Many Luscious Lollipops by Ruth Heller. Afterwards, each student can be given five cards with adjectives. Those cards can be loaded onto a Smartboard or Activeboard for dragging to various categories: color, quantity, size, shape.
Additional Lesson Selections:

Lesson Idea: Place a variety of objects in a brown paper bag. Have students reach into the bag without looking and describe what they feel. Students cannot use the same adjectives that have already been given. After every child has had a turn, pair students into teams. Have the students select one object and then draw a web of adjectives to describe the selected object.

Preparing to Draw a Monster

A book choice for the third class is Go Away Big Green Monster by Edward R. Emberley. As the book is read, ask the students to identify the adjectives that describe the monsters (Story Props for Go Away Green Monster). Another worthy choice is Drawing and Learing about Monsters (using shapes and lines) by Amy Bailey Muehlenhardt. Great images and hints for important details; having several example monsters with multiple step instructions on describing and drawing them.

After the story is read, the students will design their own monster using a drawing program. There are several different programs available for purchase or as open source software that will allow this task to be accomplished via a computer. Another choice would be to draw and scan the images for use online.

You will want to give the students some rules for drawing the monster. Many children will want to draw a complex background. For the purposes of this project, the student should simply draw their monster. If a student wants to draw a simple addition, such as a tree or house, you can allow them to add it within the parameters of keeping it simple.

Remind the students that they will be describing the monster, so they should take care to use shapes that are easy to describe such as circles, triangles, rectangles, squares, straight, and squiggly lines.

At this point, the files will have to be saved within your chosen program, and as a JPEG. When the files were saved as JPEGs on this wiki, we will resize them to 296 x 212 pixels. We found it easier to have one consistent size for better display of many images on one wiki page.

Lesson Idea: Type up a monster description leaving out all adjectives. Read the monster description to the students and have them follow the directions to create the monster. Provide crayons and pencils but do not tell the students what tools to use. After the monster's are drawn, have students compare their monsters and discuss why they are all so different. Discuss what was missing from the description.

Preparing to Describe the Monstermonsterweb.png

In advance of the class, you will want to create an adjective planning sheet for each student. You can either print each child's monster with an adjective planning sheet or create an adjective planning sheet for each individual student. They will take time to brainstorm adjectives they can use to describe their monster. This planning sheet helps the student focus on each of the parts of the monster: head, hair, arms, eyes, nose, mouth, nose, body, and other items.

The student can work with a partner to see what descriptive adjectives might be missing. Once the planning sheet is complete, the students can take their planning sheet to the computer to write their descriptive paragraph. You might want to create a template for the students to open in Word or another word processing software so that they focus on typing the paragraph, not formatting. Each monster should have a monster name (Big Blue Eye) and the student's name, followed by the paragraph.

All of the student's paragraphs should be gathered into one file and loaded onto the wiki for use by the partner class if you are using this wiki for your project.

Preparing to Draw the Partner Monstercrayondesc.png

Before the students arrive in class, you will want to print the word processing file of student paragraphs from your partner school. It is helpful to read through the descriptions and assign each monster to a child in your class based on their ability to read and the speed they tend to work on the computer.

When the students arrive, take one monster description from your own class, read each sentence aloud, and draw the image. As you read and draw, demonstrate using a crayon to cross out the line of text. The students are now ready to go to their computer, start their drawing program and draw their partners monster.

As the students draw the monster, save the file again within the drawing software and as a JPEG image. Once all the monsters are completed, they will be loaded onto the wiki.

Analyzing the Monsters

When the students arrive in class, have the children gather around to view each monster. You will direct the students to try to decide which monsters best match as you compare the colors, shapes, sizes, and details.

You might want to create a separate wiki page for the children to compare and contrast their drawing and description and their partner's drawing and description. They can reflection on the following questions: What words did you use that made the monster easy to draw? What words were missing that made it hard for your partner to draw the monster? What would you add now? What made it hard to describe your monster. They will do the same for their partner's monster and description. The will reflect on: What words made it easy to draw your partner's monster? What words were missing that made it hard to draw the picture? What should they have added?