Monsters are always a popular subject for my younger art students. My go-to monster lesson for this age group has always been Where the Wild Things Are, but this year I looked for a new source of monster delights.
Enter Monsters Love School by Mike Austin. In the running for a monster related story was If You’re A Monster and you Know It by Ed and Rebecca Emberley.
But in the end I chose Monsters Love School art project because the little monsters on the cover were just so cute!
Click the button below to download my free drawing guide for the Monsters Love School art project:
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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
– 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper
– 1 colored piece of 12″ x 18″ sulphite paper (I use black)
– Colored oil pastels
– Liquid watercolors (just 2 or 3 colors is fine)
– Scraps of colored and printed paper, including a small amount of white and black
– Scissors and glue
To prevent first graders from drawing teensy-weensy monsters (you know they will!), do a little paper prep first and fold the paper into thirds.
Yes, kids can do this but it will literally take you ten minutes to walk this age group through this folding exercise. Just take 5 minutes and do it yourself (stack 3-5 pieces of paper and fold at once. Saves a lot of time.)
Hand each child the drawing handout and ask children to select a body shape that they like. They don’t have to copy the body shape exactly but this just helps ignite their imaginations.
Starting at the TOP FOLD LINE, draw the body all the way down to the BOTTOM FOLD LINE. The fold lines ensure that the body will be big. It won’t ensure the body will be think, but we’ll leave that challenge for another day.
From the handout, select ONE SET OF ARMS and ONE SET OF LEGS.
At this point, the kids get the idea. Encourage them to add patterns, stripes, squiggles or any other desired lines to their monster parts.
You will have to remind the kids not to color with oil pastels as the paint is coming.
PAINTING THE MONSTERS
Set a tray of liquid watercolors on each table (read about liquid watercolors here).
Set one container of water and as many brushes as you need on each table.
The trick to using liquid watercolor on sulphite paper is to work fast and despite how tempting, not to brush over the same area more than twice. The sulphite paper will soak up the paint making it look streaky, but it will dry just fine.
At this point you will be done for the day (40 minutes) so place the monsters on a drying rack until next time….
DECORATING THE MONSTERS
Make life easy on yourself and place random scraps of paper in a small tray on each table so kids can pick their own pieces. On the whiteboard I demonstrated how to draw different shapes for monster mouths and gave the kids a choice to add one, two, or even four eyes to their monster.
Hand back the dry monsters and begin cutting out the monster shape. Hand each child a piece of color paper (I used black) and use glue to mount monster to paper.
Onto the monster eyes…
We used black paper for the mouth and white paper for the teeth and white and black paper for the eyes. Notice how each eye is amazingly big? This is because the kids traced a small plastic condiment cup. I have hundreds of these in my classroom and they are the perfect monster-eye size.
A GLUEY SOLUTION
One trick I have used for years with my little ones is to mix white school glue with a bit of water and stir to achieve the consistency of ½ & ½.
Stick a few brushes in the container and now kids can brush glue onto their monsters instead of dealing with sticky glue sticks and messy glue bottles.
Leftover paint is saved by using a plastic cover.
Place brushes in a dish of soapy water until you get a chance to clean them.
Add a crown or hat to your monsters head by cutting up scrap paper and with oil pastel, create patterns and colors for detail.
First grade Monsters Love School students art projects… I don’t know about you, but I’m in love with these adorable monsters!
Interested in starting your year refreshed, prepared and ready to go?
Download our back to School Guide | Resources to help kickstart your art program
It’s a 3-part strategy on how to use the Elements of Arts when planning your art curriculum including ordering supplies, a grade level checklist for the scope and sequence of K-7 Elements of Art and What I’ll Learn in Art Class posters.
Thanks for the book suggestion! I do a very similar project with my first graders, using the Yay! Monster iPad app for inspiration. The app works like a three-section flip book, so I fold the paper just as you suggested here, which really does help the students work large. The students create their monster with the app, then take a screen shot to save their idea to use as a reference for their own monster creations.
Oh my goodness…this is a great idea! Do you have pictures? I would love to see them. You can email me them at patty dot palmer at deep space sparkle dot com or do this:
Pinterest You can add any pictures to this shared pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/patty_palmer2/dss-kids-art-gallery/
(I just sent you an invitation to join) a
Why do the students need 2 pieces of sulphite paper each, if the drawing is only on one? Love this project!
Oops…that was a mistake. Thanks for letting me know! I fixed the type.
Brilliant! Thanks for choosing my book for this FUN project!
Mike Austin, author and illustrator of MONSTERS LOVE SCHOOL
Wow. Thanks for visiting Mike! Love your books (as do many other attracters as well!).
Love this idea. I’ve ordered the book and am starting the lesson this week with my 1st graders.
Hi Patty and Neil
I am new to taking art classes and just love your website.
You are truly inspiring.
I am wanting to complete a unit on monsters.
I have been attempting to download the Pick and Draw Monster PDF but no link is arriving in my email in box.
Please can you assist.
Melbourne Vic. Australia
Can you send this question to Neil via the contact page?
Here is the link: https://www.deepspacesparkle.com/contact-deep-space-sparkle/
Where is the link for the drawing handout? Am I missing something?
You enter your name and email in the blue box and we will send it to you via email. Thanks!
I’m sorry I’m obviously missing something here.
Today I entered your site and this mister lesson was nowhere to be found.
How do I get this lesson and handout please?
Where do I need to write my email so I get one?
I’m sorry but I don’t know what to do
Hi Lesley…Patty here. Just enter your name and email in the blue box. We will email you the PDF. This isn’t like the Members Club where you can download automatically. This is a different process. Sorry you are confused. But follow the steps as outlined in the post and you’ll be good.
Hi! I’m totally using this lesson this year! Did you have students cut their own monsters out? Thanks for sharing.
Yes. Students cut out their little monsters…great for building those small motor skills. 🙂
I love this project. Please send me a handout.
Is there any way to get a link to the arms and legs handouts?
That would be great for this busy teacher!
Of course! Scroll down and click on the yellow box inside the blue banner 🙂
I’m trying to download but the link is inactive once I input my address nothing happens – the new window just stays open but never submits the email address. Any suggestions? I’ve tried in two browsers, and tried refreshing the page.
I’m sorry you are having trouble. It works for me. The email address is submitted once you click the blue Get Your Download box. Then you are redirected to the Tank you page…then check your inbox. DSS might be blocked, so go to your spam or promo folder(gmail). Hope this helps!
Do you have any ideas how I could use this (on a smaller scale) in the library? I am the librarian. I was thinking after a read aloud one thing kids could do would be to design a cover.
Is the hand out provided with the legs etc?
Yes. Just scroll down the page and you’ll see a box that will ask you to click. Then enter your name and email and we will email you the PDF.
I read the post to “enter an email” and we would get the PDF, but the comment area is the only place it asks me to enter my email address? Help please!
Click on the pink image that asks you to enter your email address….it’s in the post 🙂
The download isn’t working, can you please update the link or file? Thank you!
I will love to do this project and need hand out.
Click on the download image, enter your name and email and we will email it to you 🙂
Monster handout can be found where? Thanks! Love this!
Right above…click the PINK box…then add your name and email 🙂 We’ll email you the PDF.
I would love to try this with my students!
Hi there! Could you please send me the drawing handout? Thank you!
Can I please get a copy of the monster drawing sheet?
Follow the link at the end of the blog and we will send the lesson handout to you 🙂
-Hannah (Team Sparkle)
Could I get the drawing feature worksheet
I will be a POD teacher this fall semester and this is a great way to start off our year with literature and art connections.
I can’t get the “Downdload Lesson PDF Link” to work; I type in my email to get the PDF and the wheel just spins. I was hoping to get the monster parts drawing guide. I can’t wait to try this lesson with my first and second graders.
The wheel just spins when I try to get the download! What am I doing wrong?!
Hi Megan. Sorry you’re experiencing problems. I just tested the link and it worked on our end. You might try a different browser or shut things down and then go back and try again.
This is super cute, especially for the beginning of the school year. There’s also “Monsters Love Color”, which I plan to use in the future to teach the little artists about mixing color.