Thursday, September 29, 2011

organic shape MONSTERS!

This is a great lesson I do every year with my Kindergartners and I never get tired of it! It is a great lesson to teach about geometric-vs-organic shape. First, I read them the book "Jeremy Draws a Monster" by Peter McCarty. It is an excellent book about a boy who draws a monster who is not a very good friend. The students then decide that if they were to draw a monster they would make a nice monster, even if they looked mean. I just love the answers they have for everything!



I give each of them a piece of string and we practice making ORGANIC shapes with it. They usually call them blobs, but by the end of the class, they've got it down pat: ORGANIC.




Then they take a black crayon and trace around the string. This will be the basic shape of the monster.




We then discuss the elements that will make up our monster: will he be mean, nice, silly, scary, or happy? How do we make a scary mouth? What do silly eyes look like? I also have each student make up a pattern on the monster's skin. This is good because I can't tell you how many of them just scribble over the whole thing green (we do this in the beginning of the school year---so yes, there is a lot of scribbling still occuring).









I just love these guys! They are all so unique and colorful...and the students are incredibly proud of them! It's a win-win lesson plan because there are no defining shapes or characteristics...monsters can look weird because they're not real!

12 comments:

  1. I love that book and what a great project to go with this!

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  2. This is such a good idea, Joanna! I have a 3 year old who is almost ready to enjoy this activity. I'm going to hunt for the book so it's ready when she is.

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  3. These are GREAT. I love your idea of having a pattern on the skin:)

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  4. JUST in time for Friday... my activity plan this week was 'creature feature'. And instead of the macaroni monsters I had planned, I think we'll try the organic shapes!

    Thanks!

    (And my word recognition was 'creepluts' until I hit edit to tell you that... not sure what it will be now.

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  5. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I'm always looking for ideas for kindergarten - I have trouble simplifying myself and struggle always with the K's. This if PERFECT so I'm "pinning" it RIGHT NOW! Plus it could be great for Halloween season.

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  6. I tried this with my PreK class today and it was a huge hit. I accompanied their art time by playing "Purple People Eater", "Monster Mash" and some other Halloween favorites. I think this could also be adapted to older grades as a fun project. :D
    Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Loved this idea and immediately got my hands on a copy of the book. Managed my lesson a little differently and wanted to share.
    I did this with 2nd graders. First we talked about organic shapes. I made a visual list of shapes and the group voted y or n as to whether they were organic shapes. I included many geometric shapes in the list. Then I handed them a large sheet of the old computer paper with the pin feed holes and told them to tear an organic shape...big. They do not know where I am going with this, yet, so freely tore without any focus on what the shape would turn out to be. Next, I read the book and we talked about how the monster was an organic shape. Students then examined their shape to discover their own monster. They were encouraged to turn it around, over, etc as they tried to visualize traits of a monster. We created a group list title "Monsters have.." to expanded our ideas about monsters and then the students set to work creating their own colorful monster. The monsters needed to have full color, lots of details and the design incorporated the use of a variety of lines; our focus for the month. Finished monsters were glued on a colored background and characters were added around them with bold words. i.e. vicious, scaly, etc.

    Fun, fun project...thanks for sharing and inspiring my students and myself!!

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  8. Kim, thank you for the feedback! That is great! I also have a presentation I do beforehand that we use to "sort" geometric and organic shapes...which leads into the whole shebang! Thanks for shaing!!!

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  9. I tried this with a first grade class that was a head of the other classes because of the way the schedule fell. I absolutely loved it! I have never heard them work so quietly and focused! I can't wait to actually do it as a full blown lesson with the rest of the kiddos. Thanks for sharing! I even bought Jeremy Draws a Monster!

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  10. We tried it out! http://artteacheradventures.blogspot.com/2011/12/organic-shape-monsters.html

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  11. I love the idea of tracing around string to talk about organic shapes!

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  12. Hi Joanna

    Perfect lesson plan! I posted the photos and credited you. http://www.k6art.com/2013/01/27/first-grade-shape-monsters/

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