Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ideas for the Classroom: Word Monster

Ack!  It's a Word Monster!!

This friendly and goofy guy was pretty easy to make, and the kids love him.  I use him with my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade reading intervention groups.  The idea is pretty simple (although not very logical). 

Much like the Cookie Monster likes cookies, this Word Monster LOVES words!  But he only likes to eat words that kids know how to read.  Students practice sight words and high frequency words on flash cards with their names on the back of each card.  Once they feel confident that they can read the word as soon as I flash it to them, they can feed it to the Word Monster. 

After a day or two (the Word Monster needs time to digest!), I test the kids on the flashcards they fed the monster.  Since the kids write their names on the back of their flashcards I know which card belongs to which kid.  If they get the word wrong, they get the card back so they can practice again.  If they get the word right, it magically becomes a star and goes on our STAR WORDS bulletin board.

Again, it isn't the most logical process-a monster eats words which become stars-but the kids love it. 

The idea for the Word Monster came from seeing so many pictures of tissue box monsters.  I wanted something a little sturdier so I went with a small cardboard some of my supplies were mailed in. 

What you need:
  1. Tissue box or cardboard box
  2. Scissors
  3. Colored paper (a few sheets)
  4. White paper (one sheet)
  5. Letter Stamps (optional)
  6. Tape
  7. A black marker

 The steps:
  1. Cut cardboard box or tissue box into the math opening that you want.
  2. Stamp the colored paper with letter stamps (I just used the vowels).
  3. Tape one sheet of colored paper in side the box for a colored "mouth/throat."
  4. Fold the other sheets of colored paper around the the box and tape into place.
  5. Cut out teeth on the white sheet of paper.  Make sure to leave about an inch rectangular strip at the bottom of the jagged teeth (this is for taping purposes).
  6. Tape the teeth on the inside of the box so that they look like are inside the monster's mouth.
  7. Cut out circles/ovals for eyes.  Make them whatever size and shape you want.  He could even have one large eye or five!
  8. Use the marker to draw on the pupils of the eyes and tape them to the box.
  9. Ta-da!  You're done!

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