An Old Favorite:
You can visit Mr. Emberley at www.edemberley.com He has an Activities and Drawing button for you to click for fun things to do.
Ed is a Caldecott Award Winner and the author/illustrator of over 80 books!
The Gist: A monster is constructed piece by piece and then deconstructed a piece at a time until he disappears.
Why I LOVE it:
- It’s a wonderful read aloud that my Y5’s truly enjoy because it’s so simple!
- I also like it because of the “life-lesson” that it imparts, in that it is a wonderful way to give a child control over their fears and things like monsters that might scare them.
- This book grabs my Y5’s attention because of the die-cut pages, as well as the bright bold use of colors.
- I can introduce, review and teach a variety of standards with this book. First comes the two big yellow eyes, then a long blue nose…it’s a great way to review body parts to little ones as well as colors and ordinal numbers!
- After the monster’s face is fully assembled a simple quote of “You don’t scare me!” launches a deconstruction of the monster. Each subsequent page subtracts one of the somewhat “scary” body parts, until the last page is black. What a great way to review the concept of take-away and subtraction!
- The text concludes with “And don’t come back! Until I say so!” empowering children to take charge of their feelings and help master their fears, which is a great lead in to all sorts of discussions about feelings and fears.
- The book is filled with wonderful descriptive adjectives like: … “big yellow eyes”, “long bluish-greenish nose” and “scraggy purple hair”, which makes for a great introduction to “describing words” and the importance of using them in your students’ own writing.
- The die-cut concept reminds me of Lois Ehlert’s Color Zoo & Color Farm, which are also classroom favorites.
Story Telling Tips:
Before reading the story have a discussion about “monsters”. Are they real or pretend? I ask my students how many have seen Monsters Inc. Most of them have, and can identify with the idea of “monsters under their beds and hiding in closets.” Is anyone afraid of monsters? Is it OK to be afraid? Are adults sometimes afraid too? What kinds of things are we afraid of?
Set the Mood:
I enjoy wearing costumes during story time, and adding props. An easy thing to don during Monster Day is a pair of green gloves.
A while back Hallmark had long silk monster gloves for sale, of course I had to buy them. They wouldn't be that hard to make. Simply add some black puffy paint stiches, paint on some black fingernails with glitter polish, and hot glue on some real bolts.
They make story telling that much more entertaining for my students and me. I’m not sure which of us has more fun. Masks are terrific too, and there are a slew of Frankenstein’s monster masks available that enhance the reading of “monster” stories.
- Use my templates to cut a set of monster pieces out of construction paper; laminate them, cut them out and attach a piece of scratchy Velcro to the back. Click on the link to view/print the monster manipulatives for Go Away Big Green Monster.
- The pieces look great on a black piece of flannel that you can glue to a piece of tag board if you don’t have a flannel board; or simply hot glue a magnet to each corner of a piece of black felt and put it on your white board.
- If you want your monster to have a face, then make his face out of a piece of green flannel and Velcro that to the black flannel.
- You could also make the green face out of construction paper and afix the non-scratchy Velcro pads to the face so that students can press the pieces on.
- Pass the pieces out to quiet students.
- As you come to that part in the story, the student holding that monster part, puts it on your mini-flannel board.
- Later, point to different students to take away the body part as you begin to read those pages.
Using their index finger, have students touch their eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears and hair as you read those parts.
I teach my students the Spanish color words as well as the sign language color words so I also have them say the colors in Spanish and sign the colors in sign language as I read them in the story.
If you’d like to do this as well, you can check out how to sign colors at the MSU-ASL browser website. (It's one of my personal favorites, that I use all of the time.) Simply click on the link.
For a list of color words in Spanish click on the link to view/print a copy.
- I make an additional set of the body parts and pass them out to my students.
- They toss them into my change bag, and I pull out a small Frankenstein monster puppet.
- This is just a stuffed piece of plush that I bought for 50% off after Halloween.
- I slit the bottom and took out the stuffing.
- There are many “monster” plush “things” available at this time that would also work.
- The magic words are “You don’t scare us monster!”
- I reverse the magic trick, with a double load change bag, by putting the monster back in the change bag and then having my students say: “Go away big green monster and don’t come back until we tell you!” I have them clap their hands 3 times and then I show them that the monster has disappeared by turning my change bag inside out. They are truly amazed. To check out my magic videos click on the link.
- I lay out an assortment of punches that are square, oval, circles and triangles in different sizes.
- My students can punch-cut a variety of shapes to make their own “monster” faces.
- If you don’t own these, have a room helper pre-cut a variety of colors, shapes and sizes from construction paper.
- Lay them on a long table.
- Run off a variety of colored monster shapes (oval, circle, rectangle and square) for the face portion as well.
- Model how to make a monster face and then allow students 10-15 minutes to make their own big monster.
- Staple them to a black papered bulletin board with a white caption: The Big Monsters From ________________’s Kindergarten Don’t Scare Us! Do They Scare You?
- You can make a color copy of the book and include it in the corner of the b.board with a white conversation bubble above it that says: Monsters inspired by the book:
Monster Mask & Gross Motor Activity:
- When they complete their monster they can transition to cutting out their green Frankenstein monster mask and gluing on the hair.
- It's a good idea to have the eyeholes pre-cut for younger students.
- They trace the stitches and color in the eyebrows.
- Students will need some help hole punching the sides and adding yarn ties.
- Give students 4 reinforcement holes for the front and back so the yarn does not tear through the construction paper.
- When everyone is done, we don our masks and do the Monster Mash together. Click on the link to download the original.
- I have several students from the 5th grade pop down during this time to help tie on masks.
- I've also had room-help from parent volunteers on various theme days too!
- Click on the link to view/print a monster mask
I also read the book Glad Monster Sad Monster also by Ed Emberley. This is a great companion book because it has the same terrific bold graphics. I can continue to review feelings with my Y5’s, particularly emotions and the wide variety they can have on any given day.
As a math extension we compare and contrast the books using a Venn diagram. I start with 2 hula-hoops and sentence strips and do this on the floor.
We also graph which book is our favorite. Click on the link to view/print a Venn diagram and graph comparing these two monster books.
Click on the link to view/print a list of my other favorite monster books.
Another counting/subtraction extension that also gets the wiggles out, is a take off of Ten In The Bed.
Choose 10 little monsters to lie on the floor next to each other. The rest of their classmates can cheer them on and chant: There were 10 monsters under the bed and the little one said: "Move over! Move over!" So they all moved over and 1 rolled out; there were 9 under the bed and the little monster said...
continue 'til all 10 of your student monsters have rolled out from under the bed, and then give the rest of your students a turn.
Shape Review Monster Bag:
What better way to review shapes than to feed them to a hungry monster right before lunch!
Print a copy of my patterns and make a template so that you can easily create a file folder Frankenstein's monster head.
Tape the sides of the file folder shut, for the perfect "feeding envelope". Pass out an assortment of various colored "food" shapes.
I edged the black hair with purple puffy paint, and the mouth with neon-orange. The stitches are outlined with silver glitter glue. I added more dimension with "diamond" rhinestone "screws" on the neck bolts, that I wrapped with aluminum foil. I also added "monster wiggle eyes" to the yellow circles so they seem to pop off the page.
Children chant: "Monster, Monster, munch and crunch. What shape food would you like for lunch?" The teacher says a shape, and any child holding that shape puts it inside the monster's head. You can also have students identify the various colors as well. We do them in Spanish as well as English.
Click on the link to view/print the teacher shape monster patterns.
Students can make their own monster head out of a long green - sealed envelope. Use the mini-monster pattern pieces and have them pre-cut ahead of time, so that children can quickly glue them to the front of their envelope; or allow the children to use markers to create their own faces.
You could also give them each a pair of wiggle eyes and some glue dots to add a bit of pizzazz to their creation as well as glitter-glue stitches.
I used brass brads for bolts on my envelope and simply taped them on the back.
Michael's Craft Store has the weird "monster eyes" pictured, in a multi variety-sized pack. The neon-colored wiggle eyes, are also a bit more creepy and festive.
Run off a supply of shapes on different colored construction paper. Have envelopes pre-sealed and tops slit to expedite this project. Students cut out their shapes.
When everyone is done, whole group assess, by calling out a shape, and having the students feed their monster head.
Click on the link to view/print the student mini-monster envelope patterns.
Be sure and check out my fun Monster's Head SHAPE booklet. It's a great reading/writing extension to go along with the above activities.
- Make an extra set of the colored shapes mentioned above. Glue on wiggle monster eyes, add facial details.
- Gather your students together and have them sit in a circle on the carpet.
- Place the "shape monsters" in the middle. Have the children close their eyes tightly.
- Teacher removes one of the monsters. Children open their eyes. The first one to guess which monster is missing is the winner.
- Continue to play 'til you have taken away all of the monsters or until the timer rings. What a fun way to review shapes.
Monster Where's Your Hand ?
- This is played just like Doggy Who's Got Your Bone?
- One child sits in a chair in the middle of a circle of children. They are the monster.
- A monster's hand is under the chair.
- The monster has his eyes closed tightly shut.
- Teacher points to a child sitting in the circle, to quietly take the hand from under the chair, and put it behind their back.
- Everyone also puts their hand behind their back.
- The children chant as the child in the chair opens their eyes: "Monster monster who's stolen your hand?"
- The monster gets one chance to guess.
- Play continues 'til everyone has had a chance to be either the monster or the hand stealer.
- To make a monster hand you can buy a rather gruesome "real" looking one at a Halloween costume store, or make one.
- To make one, fill a clear plastic glove (they sell them in a box of 50 at The Dollar store) with popped popcorn.
- Put a candy corn in the tip of each finger for a fingernail. Make sure the popcorn is cool or the candy corn will melt and smear.
- Tie off the end with lime green, orange or black curling ribbon.
- A plastic spider ring makes a cute addition. They sell them 24 in a pack of green, orange and black at The Dollar Store.
- These are easy and inexpensive to make, so you could have them as your "Monster-Day" snack and whip up an entire batch for each child to eat at school or take home.
Brainstorm with your students the different emotions that they can feel. Write the words on the board.
Discuss how different colors might represent the different emotions. i.e., red for angry, yellow for happy, blue for sad etc.
Tell your students to select two different emotions, that they or their monster are feeling today.
Students TRACE the hair on their monster using different color markers. They color half of their face one emotion, the other the other emotion. (See the sample of my front cover. I chose happy and silly.)
It's a good idea to make a monster for yourself so that you have an example to show your class.
Run off a cover and fill it in. Run off a copy of the monster for each one of your students. When they have completed their page, collect and collate your book and read it to the class.
Make sure that your students wrote their name under the sentence.
Click on the link to view/print a class monster book
Finally, end the day, by having your students make this easy and fun bookmark.
Run off the master on green construction paper and pre-cut yellow circles. Students glue on the eyes, and add a touch of red and white for a mouth as well as black pupils. I also traced the word "monster" with a green marker.
Students will need help making a slit around the nose so they can insert a little note.
Click on the link to view/print the monster bookmark pattern.
Whatever you’re reading this month, I hope you have a monstrously magnificent time of it!
For your convenience, I've posted last year's October Book of the Month after this one so you can get some more ideas!
Be sure and check out my FREE October Booklets after that!
These monster ideas will remain FREE through the month of October 2011 and then can be purchased for only .99 cents under Monster Activities!