My daughter's reaction? Giggles, and a desire to thoroughly check out each monster in all of its disgusting detail (the illustrations are fabulous!). When we reached the book's end, I asked, "Are there such things as monsters under the bed?"
Multi-Media Monster Makers
- The Make Your Own Monster site allows you to create a simple little monster which can then be posted to an online gallery. Children pick body parts, select their colors, and connect them as they choose.
- Make a Monster is an interactive activity which a teacher designed for use on interactive white boards (IWBs). I'll warn you that some of the sounds linked to the body parts are a little scary, but the activity creator has included some nice lesson plans which integrate simple writing (Flashlight Press also some recommendations and a lesson plan for writing about monsters).
- Want to go Old School? Universal Leonardo, a site which celebrates the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, allows young artists to mix and match Leonardo-inspired animal parts (see the illustration here). The Master himself loved to tinker with fantastical beasts! This site provides cool results which can be printed and colored.
In addition to the integrated art and writing ideas above, students may want to check out My Monster, an easy-to-use fill-in-the-blank template created by Jon Ryder. Students enter words or phrases to complete each line (forming some wonderful similes), and then click on the Create button to see their finished poem.
This would be a terrific cross-grade activity! Younger students could dictate information about their monsters to older students, who could enter the words and then cut and paste the finished poem into another application if desired.
A similar cross-grade activity using monster drawings (based on David Devries fabulous book The Monster Engine) can be found at my Teaching that Sticks blog.
My Own Monster
Everything I Know About Monsters : A Collection of Made-up Facts, Educated Guesses, and Silly Pictures about Creatures of Creepiness is an unconventional field guide of sorts, which removes the scariness of monsters by revealing everything about them, from their horrible hygiene to their hilarious habits. It even includes a handy Monster Avoidance Chart, which may help young readers sleep better!