Published in 1992, "Go Away, Big Green Monster!" is a children's story written by Ed Emberley. He created the story to help children overcome their fear of monsters. Kindergarten activities should revolve around the monster's appearance, his colorful transformation and what happens to him throughout the story. Teachers should approach the subject with energy, compassion and excitement to help young readers deal with fears and anxieties about monsters.
Make collages of things students might like to do with the big green monster from the story. Provide an assortment of old magazines, and ask your class to cut out images of activities or events they might like to engage in with the green monster, such as riding bicycles, eating pizza, driving a car, playing sports or going to a party. Have each kindergartner glue images to a piece of construction paper in random order, creating a collage. You might ask your class to pretend as though the green monster has never participated in these activities, and it's their job to show him what the real world is all about.
Storytelling with Foam Monster Pieces
Create monster pieces out of foam for students to use when retelling the story. Provide colored craft foam sheets, safety scissors, chalk to trace the monster's facial features and envelopes to hold the finished pieces. Create a template of the monster's eyes, ears, nose, teeth and crown, similar to those shown in the story, so students can trace and cut them out, as suggested on the Scholastic Teachers website. Ask students to write their initials on the back of each piece. Provide a blob-like green foam circle for students to use for the monster's head. Have students take turns retelling the story -- remembering the order of events -- as they add facial features to the monster. Encourage your kindergartners to use their pieces to tell the story to their parents when they get home.
Ask a parent volunteer or a co-worker to dress up like the big green monster. After reading the story, tell your students that a special visitor is coming to talk with them. Instruct the volunteer to make his voice sound gruff and silly. You might ask the volunteer to read the story to himself before he addresses your students, and advise him that the goal is to ease kids' anxieties about monsters. Invite your kindergartners to interview the monster with questions, such as "Where do you live?" What do you do for a living?" "What do you do for fun?" or "Why do you want to scare people?" At the end of the interview, have the monster shake the children's hands as a kind gesture of his friendliness.
Green Monster Artwork
Re-create the monster, using green paint and paper cut-outs. Give each kindergartner a legal-size piece of black construction paper. Instruct them to fold the paper in half widthway, and place a small blob of bright green paint in the crease, with the paper facing upward. Close the paper at the crease and gently press on the exterior, unpainted side of the paper -- intentionally spreading the green paint on the inside -- forming a blob-like head. Allow the paint to dry. Provide cut-outs of the monster's eyes, ears, nose, teeth and crown for your students to color and glue onto their dried green blobs. The objective is to use arts and crafts to help students get more comfortable with monsters -- silly figments of the imagination, not real characters to fear.
- moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images