Friday, September 27, 2013

the kinders and leonardo.

I met with our little balls of energy (the kinders) for the first time this week and I introduced them to a little monster named Leonardo.

I started our time together by introducing myself and my classroom expectations, since it's the first time they have laid eyes on the silly man with gray hair and needing to be trimmed facial hair;)

After that we talked about what authors and illustrators do. I showed them the cover of Leonardo the Terrible Monster and identified Mo Willems as the author AND illustrator of the book. Mo is one of my all time favorite makers of kids' books.

I pointed out how Mo uses lines to make shapes- circles, triangles, and even monsters. We also talked about how an illustrator can show how a character is feeling by drawing a line for the mouth- it could be happy, sad, worried, etc. I told the students to be on the look out for these things as I read the book to them.

I have to say, I love reading to these classes, especially on our first time together. I find it is a great icebreaker. A lot of kiddo apprehension of me goes away as I get into the narration:)

Once we are done the book, I also point out how Mo made some things look smooth with line, but he made other parts look furry by wiggling his marker back and forth.

I have a predrawn circle on their paper and we draw the rest of Leonardo together. We identify shapes as we draw- rectangles for arms and legs, triangles for horns, etc. Students draw a mouth that reflects how their monster is feeling. When students trace their characters, I show them how they can wiggle their marker back and forth to make them look furry. They may choose to do this or not. They can color their characters as they wish.

There are definitely some interesting looking monsters  in this bunch. This lesson also gives me an opportunity to see who needs help with pencil grip, who needs help with hand pressure, and who can draw basic geometric shapes.


  1. I love the variety in all these delightful personalities!!

  2. A pre-drawn circle - genius! Why didn't I think of that? I start with a circle on my Mo inspired pigeons, and it takes forever to go around and help them re-draw the tiny ones. Thanks for the tip, and for showing us this book - I don't have this one yet. Great lesson!