Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monsters Everywhere

Usually each grade in my school does different art projects. For example, the 3rd graders did a project about the cycles of the moon while the 4th graders studied flips, turns and slides (part of their math core). The projects tie in directly to what they learn in their other classes. At least I try to fit them in. But once a year I like to do one project that every child in the school participates in. This year we're doing the Daily Monster.

I introduced the kids to the illustrator Stephan Bucher and showed them a few of his excellent Daily Monster movies. With the older grades we even watched his interview with Mimozine.

Then we used his open source monsters to sort of practice drawing awesome little creatures. We used black pens, markers, and colored pencils. We talked about line quality and showing expression. We also talked about how to develop personalities for the creatures that they were creating.

During the second class session, we make our own ink blots with India ink and drinking straws. Then the kids drew their awesome monsters and finally they wrote stories about them. What the kids didn't know is that they were doing a whole bunch of creative writing. They came up with the best little stories.

We're going to type the stories and hang up all 565 drawings somewhere, somehow in our school. I'm still trying to figure out how I'll do that.

The kids are loving this project and I have received several hugs and thank yous, for "letting" them draw monsters in school.

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