I love this art project. It’s a perfect one you can do as a whole class that can take up quite a bit of time. Sometimes (like the week of Halloween) we just need a project like this.
The prep is super easy:
1. Cut art paper into longer rectangles (not totally necessary, but you don’t need a full page of art paper for every kid)
2. Burrito fold each paper (If you burrito fold, kids won’t be able to see the other portions of the paper as easily)
3. Label the boxes on every paper 1 2 and 3 (This takes a minute, but makes it so much easier for kids!) 1 is the top box, 2 for the middle, and 3 is the flap underneath box 1.
Start by brainstorming tons of Halloween monsters silly (Cookie Monster), scary (headless horseman), classic (vampire), weird (creepy merman), or random (buckteeth fluffy ninja squirrel). That way no one can say, “I can’t think of anything to draw!” 🙂
Show students that in box 1 they will choose 1 monster and draw their head to neck. Repeat HEAD to NECK, HEAD to NECK at least 5 times. Unless they want a floating head, they need to make sure the neck goes all the way to the bottom of box 1. Have them write their name in box 1. This will eventually be their monster. Collect all the papers and mix them up.
Show students that in box 2 they will choose a monster (the same one they started with or a different one) and draw the neck to hips. Repeat NECK to HIPS over and over and over. 🙂 Remind students that unless they want a floating body, the neck should start at the top of the box and the hips should go all the way to the bottom. Pass out papers turned to box 2. Students should not look at box 1. This activity is called “Mixed up Monster” art, not “Look at box 1 and match it” art. Students should put their name in box 2 so the original artist knows who to thank for their work on their monster. Collect the papers when students are done and mix, mix, mix.
Repeat the drill for box 3 except repeat HIPS to FEET until students will actually remember it. They should start their hips at the top of the box, but the feet can land anywhere. You will need to pull box 3 above box 1 before students start drawing. Remind them this is called “Mixed up Monster” not “I’m going to push on the paper really hard and look at box 1” art. 🙂
Pass Back to Original Artist
Now you can reveal the Mixed Up Monsters to the class. Give the papers back to the person who drew the head in box 1. This is their mixed up monster. They can color, add details, make sure their monster lines up, and add a setting. I also like to have students give their monster a name. Then we all come back as a class and share our monsters.
This year my students did a great job thanking the other students who helped create their monster. You do not want students berating others for a floating belly or ugly monster tail. Show students how to be positive!
Tips and Tricks:
Students should only use pencil during the first drawing stages.
For the monsters to actually look cohesive, draw small lines where the neck ends and the hips end as students hand you their monster art. This activity works much better when the bodies and/or legs line up. I needed to do this for my second graders but older students can do this too.
Right now there are 23 Mixed Up Monsters hanging on our classroom door and every morning the kids look at them, show their friends, and laugh. Plus this activity took up a whole lot of time on a crazy Friday. Success!!!