Monday, September 10, 2012

Organic Shape Monsters

One of the first projects I do with my Kindergartners at the beginning of the school year are these adorable Organic Shape Monsters! It is a great project to teach your students the differences between geometric and organic shapes, has a wonderful literacy and character tie-in, and they're just SO CUTE!

First, we read the book "Jeremy Draws a Monster" by Peter McCarty. This is a wonderful story about a boy who draws a mean monster and eventually sends him packing. We discuss what kind of monster friend we'd like to have...and use our faces to make different (scary, silly, mean, happy, friendly, etc) monster faces.

Next, I give each child a tied piece of string and have them make an organic shape on their paper. Using a black crayon, they trace around their shape.

Then they go to town adding fun details like eyes and teeth, also funny things like multiple arms, legs, toenails, fangs, etc. (Don't you love the double pupil in the picture above?!...and how her smile looks JUST like her monster's smile?!) My Kindergartners often lack attention to detail in drawings, and these monsters have them focusing on details and features that they desire. They really get into it! After drawing everything with a black crayon, they begin to color. I just adore how colorful they become and how they almost come alive!

I've never had student dislike this project...and I have lots of "baby monsters" pop up here and there throughout the year made at home. Additionally, there are SO MANY books you could tie into this lesson like "Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli" or "Go Away Big Green Monster"!

This project can go in so many different directions...if you are inspired by this, please be sure to link your sucessful project in the comment section of this post! Now it's time to get back to my monsters!

Joanna Davis-Lanum is a National Board Certified Art Teacher who teaches at Garden Elementary in Venice, Florida. She is also the author of her classroom blog We Heart Art, and is inspired by her "little monsters" daily!

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