Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monstrous Fun!

Having a classroom blog provides a plethora of opportunities to collaborate and create with classes all over the world. Recently, we were invited by Miss Jordan in Victoria, Australia, to participate in a monstrously creative writing project. 

The directions for the Monster Project: 

Step 1:  Students draw a monster of their choosing.

Step 2:  Students write a paragraph detailing the monster. 
Important descriptive details to include are color, shape, and size

Step 3: Students trade the descriptive paragraphs with a blogging buddy. This was done via Google docs.

Step 4: Students draw their buddy's monster using only the descriptive paragraphs. 

Step 5: Students Share and compare the original drawings. We used a Google slide show. As you compare the two drawings, what do you notice? (Sometimes a detail or two gets left out of a paragraph. Sometimes students miss important words when reading. )

Step 6: Publish the results on the class blog and have fun reading and comparing!   

A student reading her buddy's description and 
giving it a rough draft draw. 

Sometimes students worked together to read and clarify a description.

Rulers were employed as specific measures were given in the description. Since our buddies are from Australia, we used the metric system, centimeters and millimeters!

Finally, the final drawings were colored. 

Next stop, the Photo Booth. Student took photos of their monster and their buddy's monster. Each student emailed the photos to Mrs. Yollis. Student learned about the importance of the subject area of an email. 

The Photo Booth in action! Once the photos and text were assembled in a Google Slide Show, we were ready publish!

Click here to visit our blogging buddies' site with their monstrous slide show!

What did you notice about your monster?

How did your buddy do with your directions? Did you miss any details? How can you tell? 

What did you learn from this project?


  1. Dear Mrs Yollis and class,

    I had the pleasure of working with 4A and 4B this week as a relief (substitute) teacher. They had so much fun working on the monster project and I couldn't wait to check out the comparisons.

    I was amazed at how similar some of the monsters looked! It is clear that a lot of you are becoming skilled at descriptive writing.

    Did you find it tricky working with the metric system?

    I hope you enjoyed this project as much as 4A and 4B did!

    Your friend in Australia,
    Mrs Morris

  2. Dear Mrs Yollis and Third Graders,

    Hi im Eevie from Miss Jordan's class in Australia. I really enjoyed doing the monster project and I really hope we can do another project like this again!

    When I looked at your blog I noticed that my groups monster didn't have a coloured in foot and the body didn't go all the way up to the eyes. It still looked pretty similar.

    When I looked at our blog they all looked really similar! Your grade did a very good job at following the instructions!

    What do you think of the monster project?
    Do you want to do another project like this?

    I love the idea of the monster project!

    Eevie ��

  3. Hi Mrs Yollis and class,

    I'm a student in Miss Jordan's class.

    I have really enjoyed doing the monster project. It helps not only with our drawing skills but our literacy skills as well.

    My partner was Indi and Ella (in your grade) was our partner. We both think that our instructions were detailed so Ella could draw the monster correctly. Also Ella's instructions were great too!

    I believe Indi and I could have said that the ice cream cones with scoops of peppermint ice cream better. We could've added things like that the cones are straight with the scoops as feet.

    I don't think that Ella needed to add anything else, in fact. Her instructions were detailed, descriptive and imaginative. Everyone else's instructions were awesome too. :)

    Ella! :) ;)

  4. To Miss Jordan's class and Mrs. Yollis' class.

    Wow! What fun I had reading these stories and looking at all the pictures. The stories were not only super descriptive and detailed but really entertaining and fun to read!

    So, am I understanding this correctly in that Miss Jordan's class drew their pictures only from the descriptions in the story? If so, I'm doubly impressed. That means that not only were Mrs. Yollis class descriptions done well but that Miss Jordan's class is excellent at following directions! Kudos to you all!

    I look forward to more collaborations!


    Melissa (Nic's Mom)

  5. To Mrs. Yollis and Miss Jordan's Classes:
    I really enjoyed reading your descriptive stories and viewing the drawings. They are very creative and fun to read. I am also amazed at how close the drawings are to the original idea for the monsters you each created. What great writers you are becoming!

    You have really shown all of us how important clear descriptions and directions must be in writing so that we can understand and visualize in our mind what you are communicating to us. This was a great way to practice these very important writing, reading and math skills.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful work with us!
    Mrs. Brazell
    (Principal of Mrs. Yollis' School)

  6. Dear Mrs Yollis and class,

    We really enjoyed collaborating with you on this fun global project. We thought you all did a wonderful job writing your descriptions and when we compared the two pictures on your blog, many were similar!

    We had a lot of fun looking at the pictures you drew for us. There were many similarities but also a few differences. Overall, we thought the comparisons were very impressive.

    We believe this project improved our descriptive writing skills and our measuring skills. We've also had some great conversations about time zones and the differences between the southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere.

    We have just discussed the differences in our time zones. We are currently 18 hours ahead of you. We are just starting our school day (Friday) and you are finishing yours (Thursday). So interesting!

    We hope to collaborate with you again soon!

    Enjoy your Halloween celebrations!

    Best wishes,
    Miss Jordan, 4A and 4B

  7. Dear Caitlin and Fletcher

    Your monster is so similar to mine. I am sorry that on my monster I forgot to mention that the body is blue. The way you drew the head, body and feet was amazing! I really liked all the detail in your picture.


  8. @Miss Jordan and class,

    I really enjoyed making monsters with you! I really hope that we can do another project just like this sometime. Your fourth graders are amazing artists and great at following directions, however, Hero and Leo made my monster's hair black and pink which I wanted but they added stripes, which were not part of my directions. In any case I really enjoyed it! Hero and Leo made my monster look really cute! Other then that you guys were spectacular listeners and great at following directions!

    Your buddy from California,
    Kayla :]

  9. Hello,
    My experience with the monster project was amazing. I saw how similar both of the pictures were. I was happy that my partners, Emily and Eli were great listeners. They are very descriptive because my monster is very similar to theirs like I mentioned before. This activity was very fun and I would like to do things like this again. I enjoyed how we had fun and learned at the same time.

    Your monster creating friend,

  10. Dear Sandy & Anna,

    I adored your fabulous monsters.

    What I meant to say in my monster paragraph was that the legs were curved down, not up. You both are very talented writers, but in yours, you forgot to say that his body was pink. Of the many things that you got right, you were correct that the middle neck was red and the side necks were brown.

    I hope we can do something like this again.


    P.S. My real name is Tabitha

  11. Dear Harry and Ava,

    You did a wonderful drawing of the monster I described. : )

    The things that were similar were the shapes, colors and sizes of the head. Also the shape of the body (oval). : )

    The parts of the monster that were not similar were the color and the six green slanted lines that were in her oval body. Her skinny rectangle arms and legs were supposed be blue too.

    Great try making the monster! : )

    Your Friend,

  12. Dear Ané and Alana,

    Great job! One thing I noticed is that you made the legs red and I said they were yellow. I wonder if that happened since I put the text in yellow and yellow is such a light color. Maybe you couldn't see it on the screen. Our bodies are different size rectangles because I think I measured wrong. Other than that, you did an excellent job. We both did oval blue wings but mine are dark and yours are lighter!


  13. Dear Archie and Alex,

    I really enjoyed doing the monster project with you. Your drawing of my monster was impressive. I didn't, however, mention anything about the head being vertical, which left it ambiguous. The only things that you missed were the arms and squares inside my monster’s legs. You got all the rest of it correct and did a great job.

    I learned a lot from this project. I learned how to work together with others and that we really need to communicate clearly with each other so there are less mistakes.

    I hope we can do it again!


  14. Dear Lily and Abby,

    I really enjoyed doing the monster project with you.
    You did a great job.You got eyes, noes,mouth and a lot of things right.But you put two tentacles on each side and I put four tentacles on each side. That was just a little mistake. I hope we do this again.


  15. Dear Summer and Emma,

    Seeing your monster was a blast! I think there were a few things different on our monsters. Your monster had the legs connected to the arms. It also looked like your legs and arms were connected to what looked like the antenna on your monster.

    There were a lot of these we drew the same! Our monsters both had blue teeth and an octagonal head. They also both had a red belly button.

    Your monster friend,

  16. Dear Sienna and James,
    I really enjoyed doing the Monster Project with you. You did a fabulous job! You drew most of the face right but you did not put the nose in the correct spot. I am sorry that I did not mention the two arms on each side. The legs were a little but wrong. The legs were to be shaped like a staircase and they were not yellow.

    Your buddy in California,
    :) :) :) :) :)

  17. Dear Emma and Mitchel,

    Your monster and my monster looked very similar. Although, we did have some parts of the monster that were different. Our neck was the same because they were both yellow. Our eyes were different because yours were larger than mine. You also had a smaller pumpkin face. I like what our differences were. Did you like the project?

    Your monster friend,

  18. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    BOO! Happy Halloween! I loved your monster photos! I'm going to write you a scary story:

    There once was a spooky teacher named Mr. Fangs. He was a three headed giant. He was catastrophically scary. Mr. Fangs was always miserable. All his students feared him. But, one day that all changed.

    It was a normal sunday afternoon, and Mr. Fangs was talking a stroll, feeding on any birch wood he could find. Then, he saw a doggy. But, there was something different about this doggy. He has three heads, too! Mr. Fangs went over and said "Hello!". "Bark,Bark!" replied the doggy. Mr. Fangs went over to Scary 'n' Co (the neighborhood pet store) and bought a scary leash for his new friend. Mr. Fangs wasn't lonely any more!

    *The End*

    Your friend,

    Mr. Fangs

  19. Dear Bebe and Max,

    You guys did a fantastic job. You drew the monster very similar to what I described. I am sorry that I did not describe the legs well enough.You forgot to switch the hands around but that is totally OK. It was so much fun doing the monster project with you.I hope we get a chance to do more activities together very soon.


  20. Dear Ella and Indie,
    You did an amazing job on the monster story that I described. I was amazed on how well you did! : ) There were a few mistakes ( my fault) it's okay though it was my fault I said that sorry.The mistake were the arms I didn't mention what size they were. The thing you did right were the legs, they were the same color and the same shape! : ) Hope we can do it again

  21. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

    Dear Will & Georgie,
    You did an amazing job drawing my monster.
    The only few things that were wrong were that the hourglass
    was getting filled up and it was red. I said pink, but thats ok. :)
    Another thing is that the legs are not straight and mine are like a V.
    Sorry, that was my fault. Hope we get together soon!

    Your Pal,

    ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

  22. Dear Daisy and Romy,

    You are excellent artists. The only thing you missed was Jake saying Bad Rules. Other than that it was similar to mine and really good. I hope we can do another project like this together in the future.

    Leah :)

  23. Dear Nell and Jasmine,

    You did an awesome job. Our monsters look similar. We had a couple of body parts that did not look alike or were not in the correct place, but that is my fault because I did not give you a enough descriptions. I like to draw big scary animals that I make up, and now I learned how to draw monsters. I hope that I can do something like this again with you guys.


  24. Dear Maeve and Billy,

    Wow! You did an excellent job of recreating my monster! I think I like yours even better than mine. Most of the details were done correctly. There were just a couple of mistakes. First, you forgot to put a red triangle nose on his face. Also, he should have red spiky horns coming from his head, but you colored them green. Finally, the victims should have x's for their eyes. However, I like the way that you colored his face purple and his body blue. It really makes the monster colorful! This was a really fun project. I learned how to work with others and that you have to be really specific when you are giving directions to follow.

    From you monster buddy,

  25. Dear Spencer and Eevie,

    I loved doing the monster project with you! However, I did notice some differences between our drawings. These were my fault. First, I did not tell you the number of teeth in the monster's mouth. Secondly, I forgot to tell you the direction of the rectangle on the face. The things that were similar were the green eyes on both of his heads and the double circle on his stomach.

    From this project, I learned that it was very hard to explain every single detail of my picture.

    I loved working with you and I hope we can work together again soon.


  26. Dear my Australian friend,
    I had a lot of fun doing the monster project with you! Our monsters were a little alike, but they looked different also. We both had 10 tentacles that were rainbow colors with grey dots. You had a square body with no head, and I had no body with a round head. You had three eyes, and I had two eyes. You did not have a mouth, and I had a sloppy mouth. I guess our monsters looked pretty different! I had fun working with you anyways!


  27. Dear Nelly and Annika,

    You did an awesome job drawing my monster. I liked how you drew my monster. I think you did very well. You left out the face but I forgot to put it in my description.

    I had fun doing this project with you!



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:-) Mrs. Yollis