Thursday, January 29, 2009

Monster Project Year Two

Click on the image for a larger version.

This is my second year working on the Monster Project through Wikispaces with Anna Baralt. Things are going much smoother this year because I had it planned in advance. Last year I jumped in with two feet and just ran with the drawing and the writing.

Much More Prep
The students have listened to Many Luscious Lollipops and found adjectives from last year's monster wiki descriptions on the Activboard. The found their favorite food on Kidspiration 2 and completed the chart for adjectives representing the feel, taste, smell, sound, and sight of the food.

We Drew the Monsters
The second grade teacher said the writing portion of the project was very hard last year because the students didn't use standard, easily defined shapes. This year I recommended that they use circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, and other shapes they could name for the body parts. We also talked about straight, curved, and curly lines.

Kidspiration Template for Monsters
Last year, Anna said she used a worksheet to help the students develop the monster adjectives. I made one based on the image in our Monsters Bloom in Our Wiki presentation from the K12 Online Conference. Already I see that I should include a box for legs. I will add the template to the Monster Project wiki tomorrow. I showed the second grade teacher and she feels that this will give her a huge leg up on creating the actual monster descriptions in class.

I think it will take two classes to fill in the template. We are probably about 75% complete. It is great because they are filling the chart in pencil. They can bring the chart over, I can point out what might be missing (such as a number, size, position on the body, shape, or color) and they can go back to try again. We will listen to Go Away Big Green Monster during the next class and follow it with Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective for the second template filling class..

I'm So Lucky
I did offer to have the students create the descriptions in computer class, but the teacher is really excited to help the students. Once the templates are complete in about two weeks, she will help them write the descriptions in class. At that point, they can be typed into Word and shared with our partner classes.


  1. I joined the Monster Project this year. Great idea! The computer teacher do the monster creations with the kids, he was to begin next computer class. I walked the children to the computer for class, and discovered, Mr. V was ill and the sub was not there yet. Luckily I had the monster project lesson to walk in and teach the kids. We had a great time creating the monsters! Nice to walk in knowing a great lesson idea, and not have to figure one out on the spot. Next week we will work on the descriptions. I appreciate your reflections as I go through the process. Very helpful. Thanks for all of your work on this project.

  2. The students really love creating the monsters. The descriptions are the hard part. Wait until your students try to draw the other student's monsters from the descriptions. I heard a lot of complaining about lack of detail. Then they saw the monsters their partners drew from their description and realized how many details they missed.

    It is a good feeling to have a lesson all ready when you're in one of those on-the-spot moments. I'm so glad you joined us this year!

  3. I'm bummed I missed out on getting involved in this project this year. Last year didn't go smoothly and I wanted to do a better job this year. I'm thinking about contacting another school in my district and doing the project on a smaller scale. Good luck to those involved!

  4. I started out three years ago doing the project within the building. We tend to have two of each grade level, so I had the A class and B class exchange and draw monsters. I was going to do it last year, as well, until I saw Anna's Twitter message. It will be great no matter how you do it!

  5. Ann, I created a template in PowerPoint and added legs & feet (one oval) and ears to the other information you have on your template. Do you think I should upload it to the wiki? Would other people be interested or are they already further than we are or do they all have Kidspiration or are doing it by hand?

  6. Vicky:
    Everyone is at different points in the project, so please do share the PowerPoint template. Even if it does not get used this year, it will be there for next year.