Friday, March 7, 2014

SOLSC #7 Monsters all around us

I am posting every day during March as part of the annual "Slice of LifeChallenge for Two Writing Teachers.  Check out their website for lots more reflections on teaching.


Melissa has begun a unit on shadows and light with the children, and the children have jumped into it with both feet! To greet them yesterday morning, she had a projector casting simple light onto the wall. Seeing it, the children immediately moved in front of it and started dancing - creating large, moving, happy shadows.

We opened a shadow puppet center, with the children creating these from black cardstock, white crayons, scissors, and glue.

One child made a monster and, right away, everyone had to make a monster. For many of these, I am the one who did the cutting - but I was true to their drawn creation, as much as possible. Check these out -









As the children woke from their nap, Melissa invited them to a puppet show - "Bring a chair to the carpet," she encouraged. As we stacked napping cots, children buzzed around us gathering chairs and setting them up in rows. When all the chairs were collected (and we were still busy with napping cots), they sat down in the chairs and waited patiently and expectantly.

The children have set up the room and are waiting for us.
There was much whispering - "We're having a puppet show!" Finally, afternoon logistics completed, Melissa turned the projector back on and, one by one, began sharing the children's own monsters in the light. The children were riveted.

Today, I see many more monsters ahead!

(A daily share by a preschooler, in their own words)
A Story Collage by Charlie

Once upon a time, there was a girl and a boy and they sleeped in a cabin. They went into the woods, without the Daddy and Mommy. I was carrying her, I was carrying Margaret, because there was no Daddy and Mommy. They were driving, we were walking, we were meeting up with them. We were walking in the woods with no scary things. We got to the cabin first, before Daddy and Mommy, because they were really slow and we were really fast. This is the cabin and that’s them on the road. That’s the doorbell. That’s us walking in the woods. The whale was in the water. We live in our own cabin, Margaret and me. The End. 


  1. What a wonderful activity. I can see all of the dancing shadows now...and then the busy time making shadow puppets...all creative in its own way...and then the reward of seeing the show. Perfect. Jackie

    1. Yes, it was/is a creative and fun time. Many more monsters created today! Thanks for your comment.

  2. My oldest granddaughter, 5 next month, is an authority on monsters, starting at 3 or so with ghosts in the car. I imagine the delight when your students got to create their own 'shadow' monsters, Maureen. They're terrific! This older one told us that Imi, the 2 1/2 year old, got to chase shadows on the playground with their teachers. Although she isn't as articulate, the minute we mentioned shadows, she started running around the house!

    1. This is delightful - love the image of your granddaughter running around the house. The children have really been excited about this topic, finding shadows everywhere.

  3. You have reminded me, that whatever the future brings me. I Want to work with people who encourage and capitalize on the creative spirit of children! I miss these moments.

  4. I work with such a fantastic group of people, who share these same ideals. It is so much fun to work with people who start with children's own interests and then run with these. Thanks for commenting!

  5. So fun! I love those little monsters! They are so creative! I am going to come to your class next week so I can put a face to all these talented kids! It story reminds me of reading where the wild things are to my second graders. They were all about monsters for many weeks! This say's it all:"The children were riveted." When they are riveted you know that creativity, fun and learning have collided.

  6. Reading your entries is always an inspiration.