Around this time of year we do a "Monster Study" at the Kindergarten. All week we read different books about monsters. Last year I was searching for an art project to do during our monster study. One of the parents at the Fox Hill School is an art teacher at a local elementary school and she sent me pictures of the AWESOME monster project she had done with her kids.
As always, I started art class with a story, this week it was one about monsters, of course! I read ThereWas an Old Monster by Rebecca Adrian and Ed Emberley. The illustrations in this story are very whimsical so it was rich with ideas for their monster creations!
The project is done with construction paper and glue. The time consuming part is making all the monster pieces. If you have older kids, they may be able to cut out their own shapes, but for Kindergarten I found that they could use their imaginations more if they just focused on designing their monster and not worrying about cutting out the shapes. One of the parents at our Kindergarten kindly cut out all sorts of AMAZING shapes for us this year. They were not ordinary shapes - we had swirls, accordions, stars, wiggles, zigzags - you name it!
I explained to the kids that there were only 2 rules for their monster creations: they had to glue some sort of body or head or both to start with and that their monster must NOT fit on the paper! All of the arms, legs, horns and hair should be glued on in such a way that they are not contained by the paper. Some of the kids thought it was "so cool!" that they didn't have to stay on the page but I could tell it was a little troubling to some of my "rule-following" kids.
Once everyone glued their monster bodies on their paper I put out the bowls of shapes. The bowls only lasted a few minutes because they wanted to see all the shapes at once, so we spread them out all over the art table and they were off to the races!
The conversations during the project were great! They talked about what kind of monster they were making, why theirs only had one eye, that the horns give their monster magic powers - just amazing conversations! One of the kids was done quickly, one of the kids struggled a bit with the openended-ness of the project, but the rest of them were completely absorbed in their creations and had reasons for adding all the pieces they chose. We missed school yesterday due to Hurricane Sandy but this project even tamed the "extra-long-weekend-extra-energy" that we expect after a long weekend of being cooped up inside! Such a fun project! Although we study monsters around Halloween, these wonderful monsters would be great any time of year!