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February 5, 2018

Teaching Story Elements With Love Monster

By Nancy Jang
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    When Valentine’s Day approaches, we start talking with more purpose about love and kindness in our class. I tell my kiddos that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the people we love and care about. This is also a particularly good time to talk about friendship and kindness.

    When the book Love Monster was published a few years ago, I fell in love with it. The adorable illustrations and sweet story are perfect for delivering a great message to young students. The message of being yourself, loving and accepting a person for who they are, self-esteem, and determination are all great themes for even the youngest of kids to take away.

     

    In the story, Love Monster lives in Cutesville and feels like he doesn’t belong. He wants to find someone who will love him for himself. After re-reading the story, we took a closer look and focused our attention on the story elements: beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes those elements are difficult for the littles to sift through, and Love Monster makes teaching them so much easier!

    In the beginning, we focused on learning about the setting and characters. We looked at all the places the story takes us and who the main players are. After reading the book, we talked about the type of character that Love Monster is and then drew pictures of him. Later we added labels to the drawings describing the characteristics we discovered by reading the story.

    In the middle, we talked about what kind of problem the main character has to solve and how he goes about solving it. It’s often difficult for my firsties to uncover the problem in many stories, but in this story it’s obvious. The ways Love Monster tries to solve the problems are also very simple and straightforward.

    At the end of the story, we talked about how the main character’s problem is resolved. The drawings my students made of Love Monster were charming and I decided to use this lovable character for an extension activity. I created a fun glyph for the students to use to create their own monsters using the information from the glyph. As a whole class, we went through the glyph with students answering what each of their monster's characteristics would possess according to how they answered the questions.

    Then, I cut monster bodies from this template using either orange or red construction paper. Next, I cut out hearts using purple, pink, and yellow paper. For the features, the kids cut eyes and teeth by sketching the shape with a pencil and then cutting the circles and triangles out of white construction paper. We used a black permanent marker to draw in the mouth and pupils for the eyes.

    Students then took the various parts and, using the glyph for information, assembled their monsters. For example, if the student is 5 years old, they have eyes that are the same size. If the student is 7 years old, they have eyes that are different sizes. After all of the students complete their monsters, talk about how the students answered each of the questions and analyze the answers. It’s a fun twist on a typical vote and graph situation, and the results are absolutely adorable!

     

     

    Now, there are even more Love Monster stories to enjoy. Check out other Love Monster books!

    Love Monster and the Perfect Present

    Love Monster and the Last Piece of Chocolate

    Love Monster and the Scary Something

    I hope you and your kids enjoy this activity as much as mine did!

    Happy Teaching!

    Nancy

    When Valentine’s Day approaches, we start talking with more purpose about love and kindness in our class. I tell my kiddos that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the people we love and care about. This is also a particularly good time to talk about friendship and kindness.

    When the book Love Monster was published a few years ago, I fell in love with it. The adorable illustrations and sweet story are perfect for delivering a great message to young students. The message of being yourself, loving and accepting a person for who they are, self-esteem, and determination are all great themes for even the youngest of kids to take away.

     

    In the story, Love Monster lives in Cutesville and feels like he doesn’t belong. He wants to find someone who will love him for himself. After re-reading the story, we took a closer look and focused our attention on the story elements: beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes those elements are difficult for the littles to sift through, and Love Monster makes teaching them so much easier!

    In the beginning, we focused on learning about the setting and characters. We looked at all the places the story takes us and who the main players are. After reading the book, we talked about the type of character that Love Monster is and then drew pictures of him. Later we added labels to the drawings describing the characteristics we discovered by reading the story.

    In the middle, we talked about what kind of problem the main character has to solve and how he goes about solving it. It’s often difficult for my firsties to uncover the problem in many stories, but in this story it’s obvious. The ways Love Monster tries to solve the problems are also very simple and straightforward.

    At the end of the story, we talked about how the main character’s problem is resolved. The drawings my students made of Love Monster were charming and I decided to use this lovable character for an extension activity. I created a fun glyph for the students to use to create their own monsters using the information from the glyph. As a whole class, we went through the glyph with students answering what each of their monster's characteristics would possess according to how they answered the questions.

    Then, I cut monster bodies from this template using either orange or red construction paper. Next, I cut out hearts using purple, pink, and yellow paper. For the features, the kids cut eyes and teeth by sketching the shape with a pencil and then cutting the circles and triangles out of white construction paper. We used a black permanent marker to draw in the mouth and pupils for the eyes.

    Students then took the various parts and, using the glyph for information, assembled their monsters. For example, if the student is 5 years old, they have eyes that are the same size. If the student is 7 years old, they have eyes that are different sizes. After all of the students complete their monsters, talk about how the students answered each of the questions and analyze the answers. It’s a fun twist on a typical vote and graph situation, and the results are absolutely adorable!

     

     

    Now, there are even more Love Monster stories to enjoy. Check out other Love Monster books!

    Love Monster and the Perfect Present

    Love Monster and the Last Piece of Chocolate

    Love Monster and the Scary Something

    I hope you and your kids enjoy this activity as much as mine did!

    Happy Teaching!

    Nancy

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