Start with a folded sheet of paper. To make sure the pieces come out symmetrical and not in two pieces, I tell them to point the FOLD toward their BODY. They then write their names on the paper (if they have a shorter name with extra space, have them use their last initial too).
I then have them draw a contour line around the top of their name. They cut on that contour line.
When they open up their "name", they have a unique organic shape that resembles an alien or monster body. I have them draw details in pencil, trace in black sharpie, then color in marker.
I have students say they make entire "families" of aliens at home (using Mom's name, Dad's name, their dog's name, their brother's name, etc.) This is also great for a "rainy day" project at home or at school.