DRAW-A-MONSTER -- a Halloween lesson plan, including materials & "spinner" software

LANGUAGE GOAL introduce/review the listening comprehension of some body parts - namely, "eye, ear, nose, hair, foot, mouth, hand" (Note!! All are in the singular on purpose.)
FUN GOAL draw monsters - very odd looking monsters!
CLASS TYPE young learner, any size
MATERIALS NEEDED - for the teacher, flashcard-size pictures of the body parts
- for each student, an A4 monster-body outline (a monster on each side) and a pencil (and eraser?)
- for the class, one Windows-computer (with sound), and the "Spinner" software
TOTAL TIME 10-20 minutes

This lesson plan as MSWord or PDF doc.


0. INTRO THE VOCAB. If the body parts vocabulary is new introduce it with flashcards, either directly or through some simple activity (e.g., a "slap" game in which the teacher calls out a word and/or indicates it on their own body, and then students "slap" the corresponding flashcard).


1. "EXPLANATION" OF PRINT (PART 1). Hand out the A4 monster outlines and "explain" that any side and any orientation is ok -- sideways, upside down, diagonal, or "normal". A suggestion about how to "explain": rather than a verbal explanation, the teacher might like to make a dramatic show out of choosing and orientating their own A4 monster paper, either seated among the students if the class is small or on the blackboard if the class is large. I've found students catch on pretty quickly and that, when they try confirming their thoughts in Japanese with me, it just takes a brief "Yup!" from me -- or, they simply copy what their neighbor's up to!
Note!!! No need yet for either pencils or an explanation that the outlines are for drawing on.


2. "EXPLANATION" OF SPINNER. Now the fun part! The teacher goes over to the computer to "spin" the spinner, then returns to their spot and draws the body part — all very over-the-top, of course.

This is what the spinner software does (in order):

  1. spin (of course!)
  2. randomly stop at one of seven numbers (one number for each body part)
  3. "say" the name of that body part (eg. "one hair")
  4. pause for a few seconds (I use this pause to put on a shhh-cause-teacher's-profoundly-listening face and thereby encourage students to do likewise :-) )
  5. "say" again the name of that same body part
  6. "display" an image of that body part (I left this to last so that students would be listening moreso than looking)

Note!!! This "Step 2" is also a good opportunity to demonstrate the basic drawing rules — a body part can be any size, it can go anywhere on the monster, and one-and-only-one of that body part can be drawn... and, yes, that includes "eye", "ear", and, just like Sazae-sanfs dad, even "hair". Very Cubist — oris that Dadaesque?!


3. "EXPLANATION" OF PRINT (PART 2) & FUN TIME. After that first spin by the teacher:


4. COMPREHENSION CHECK OF VOCAB. Finally, after everyone has had plenty of turns at the spinner and the monsters are looking extremely monsterish, it's the teacher's chance to be a teacher and double-check the students' general understanding of the vocabulary by examining closely and critically each (or some) student's creation to thereby see if the body parts are honestly recognizable as such. (For example, this actual dialogue from one of my elementary-grade classes...

Nicolas: gIs THAT a nose?h
Hiroto [giggle giggle]: gYes!h
Nicolas: gWow! Thatfs some nose. And is that a long curly hair in the nose?!h
friends [giggle giggle]
Hiroto: gYes!!h [giggle giggle] )

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