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Hairy Monster Stories



  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
    --Visual Arts


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

The "Hairy Monster Pots" art project leads to student writing fun.



  • follow instructions and work creatively to create their Hairy Monsters.
  • discuss the elements of a good character sketch.
  • use a rubric to guide them as they write of a character sketch about their Hairy Monsters.


monster, writing, Halloween

Materials Needed

  • plastic or clay pots (one per student, or one per student pair)
  • grass seed
  • paints and other art supplies for painting/decorating the pots

Lesson Plan

Plan to do this activity in September or early October and you will be able to do some follow-up "monster story" writing before Halloween. Or capitalize on the fact that students might have trouble focusing on Halloween by planning this lesson to happen that very day.

In this lesson, a fun art project leads to student writing. If you plan -- and plant! -- this lesson in advance, you can share a sample Hairy Monster as an example of the kind of monsters students will create.
The first part of this project is to have students create their own Hairy Monsters. They will paint monstrous looking faces on clay or plastic pots and then grow grass "monster hair" in the pots. You can find the complete instructions for creating Hairy Monster Pots on the Young Gardeners Web page.

When students' Hairy Monsters are ready -- when they have full heads of hair -- introduce a writing assignment in which students write character sketches about the monstrous friends/fiends.

First, challenge students to develop a personality and description of their Hairy Monster. You might work as a class to discuss possible

  • personality characteristics,
  • physical attributes (besides horrible green hair!),
  • frightening habits, and
  • other unique skills and abilities.
If you come up with a class list, students will be able to draw on that list as they write their character sketches.
  • You might start this activity by having students work on their own to develop a list of possible character traits.
  • Then you can combine students into pairs so they can share and build on their lists.
  • Next, combine pairs of students to create groups of four for additional sharing.
  • Then combine groups of four to create groups of eight students.
  • Finally, have students come together as a class to create a class list.
    Give each group 5 minutes to share the ideas they have gathered and 5 more minutes to add to their lists.
Then have students use gathered and original ideas to write a descriptive paragraph about their monsters. That description should include details about physical attributes and personality characteristics. You might provide a rubric in advance (see possible rubrics in the Assessment section of the lesson, which appears below) in order to guide students' writing. More Monstrous Fun


Use one of these writing rubrics to assess students' writing:

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

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