It all started with the monster on the cover of the book pictured above. October had arrived, and so had the monsters! After several 5 day students independently decided to paint a monster, we decided to invite the whole class to make their own version of a monster on the Art Studio's easels.
After each monster was painted, I asked the child to tell me about their monster. The descriptions are wonderfully detailed and hilariously creative. It was a great opportunity for counting practice, since the monsters had limitless eyes and legs and teeth! I must share a handful here, but please stop by and read through the whole book when you get a chance:
"His name is 'Lots of Colors'. His eyes are big, bold eyes, and this is his hair. He has an orange smile." - C. H.
"It's just his brain. It's called a brain monster so it's just his brain. The monster died but the brain is still alive." - L.S.
"My monster's name is Lily, and this is her eyes, eyebrows, smile, face and hair. These purple lines are her arms and the orange lines are her legs. There are 17 rings on 1 arm and 14 on the next arm. There are 19 rings on one leg and 16 on the other. There are 45 jewels on one arm and 86 on the other." - L.B.
"These are his toes and eyes and feet. He's on a broom. I can talk to him." - J.H.
One thing I love about creating monster paintings, is that there is no way for the painter to be "wrong". They can practice painting arms, legs, faces, bodies and other figurative details without being held to the standard human figure. Students who are not yet regularly painting representative figures felt happy to try out a monster with many legs, or a strange body shape. And even those paintings where the final products look like a blob or scribble have a rich, imaginative story to go along with them.
These monsters have inspired more monster creations made with tape, cardboard, and drawing supplies. I am also seeing monsters continue to pop up in paintings. The 5 day class has been reading books about monsters, singing "monster mash" and creating monsters with loose parts. With still a week to go until Halloween, I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of these monsters!