My students had a BLAST in our kindergarten classroom for Halloween last week, yet they were amazingly well behaved. We didn’t have a week full of candy and silliness. We had fun, but it was more academic in nature and it really helped my students to remain in control of their actions. Our first order of Halloween business was a little practice in the fine art of water color painting. After two weeks of learning color words, our new favorite book to read in class is Go Away, Big Green Monster. In light of this beloved, not-too-scary book character; we created our own Big Green Monster paintings.
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The secret to any well-crafted painting in my classroom is PRACTICE. I have a block of time for “drawing lessons” in my weekly lesson plans. Last week, we practiced drawing Ed Emberley’s monster step-by-step on our whiteboards. The most important element of a successful drawing in kindergarten is proper proportions. I find that coaching students through their drawings and giving plenty of reminders about our goal to fill the entire space has a dramatic impact on the quality of their drawings, both during the lesson and later on during independent work time.
Drawing lessons take place on the carpet in my classroom. I draw the students around me nice and close. I find that it helps them remain focused and I can easily provide extra support to students that are struggling with the shapes or sizes in the lesson.
After two successful monster drawing attempts, we were ready for the real deal. I handed each student a piece of white cardstock. Each child worked from their desk while I led a reminder lesson on how to draw a monster using our classroom Elmo. The children sat further away than they were during our practice lessons, but by the third try, they had confidence and knew what shapes to add to each monster each step of the way with minimal personal coaching from me.
After drawing with a pencil, students traced every pencil line on their paper with a black crayon. In addition to adding an extra bold pop, the wax from the crayons helps prevent the watercolor paints from blurring into each other.
Drawing and tracing was a task that we spent one class period on. Once all of the drawings were complete, I collected the papers. On day 2, it was time to paint! This was a whole class activity. I painted my monster under the classroom Elmo and students painted their monsters step-by-step with me.
This was my students’ first painting activity and they each did SUCH a beautiful job.
Our completed monster paintings were positively adorable and I know Ed Emberly would be proud!
If you are not familiar with the book Go Away, Big Green Monster, you need to buy it today. It’s a fun twist on the traditional scary monster story and my students can’t get enough!
Hi Maria, I have been enjoying your blog and all your ideas and activities for quite a while now. Thank you so much for sharing! I just saw your marshmallow graphing page (a little too late, but I’ll save it for next year). I was wondering if the marshmallow shapes you used were an assortment of all 3 shapes. I have not seen them in stores. Where did you find them?
Hi Jennie! A parent from my school found the marshmallow shapes at the store and bought them for the class. I think each of the shapes was packaged separately, so she bought one bag of pumpkin marshmallows, another bag of candy corn marshmallows, and a third bag of ghost marshmallows. I hope this helps!
Your monsters are adorable! Last year I fell in love with doing guided drawing projects that we turned into gorgeous art and writing products. They are always connected to a read aloud so I can add this to the list. Thanks!
Thank you! Guided Drawing is one of my favorite classroom activities. I would love to see some of your favorites to do in conjunction with a read aloud.
I love this! I would love to try guided drawing with my kinders, but I wouldn’t know where to start! Could you recommend any videos that show the process?
Can you give us the step by step directions you used? I love this activity!
I would love the step by step directions too. I bought the book and now need the directions for the “monster”.
Thanks in advance!!
You mean I don’t have to pay for expert advice like this anymore?!
Thank you for this! I saw it awhile back and was searching everywhere for it this week. Someone on the Simply Kinder Facebook group told me where to find it. We are doing two weeks of color words, so we will be doing this later this week!
Do you have step by step instructions for the Big Green Monster guided drawing?
Unfortunately I don’t. I always start with the head and just copy the shapes Ed Emberley uses. The illustration is pretty simple to replicate.
I love theseeeee! Thanks for sharing!!!! <3
Does each child have their own set of paint and water? Do you guide them when to rinse their brush between colour changes? Do the students all paint their monsters the same colour?
Yes, yes, and yes. All monsters are the same color so that they match the monster in the book 🙂
Where do you get your water colour sets?
They’re just crayola watercolor paint boxes. It’s on my students school supply list in the fall but you can pick them up anywhere that sells crayola products.