Family & Consumer Science Students Work on a “Monster” Project
What if you had an idea in your head of the scariest or funniest monster you could think of? And then, what if someone offered to make a stuffed monster that looked just like what you were thinking of?
That is the concept that students in the Family and Consumer Science (FACS) classes at Clara Brownell Middle School and Umatilla High School are working on. About 100 seventh through twelfth graders in these classes met with 1st graders at McNary Heights Elementary at the end of April. The first graders’ teachers read their students the book, I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll. The book is described like this: “a unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination.”
After the book was read, the first graders met with the older students to complete coloring sheets about their own monster, including the monster’s name, what the monster likes and looks like. Then, the middle and high school students got to work, creating sewn, felt monsters from the descriptions. The students are using basic sewing and hand sewing skills, using five different stitches.
According to Holly Nygren, FACS teacher, she learned about this fun project from another teacher at a recent state convention for FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America). Nygren said in addition to the project being fun, teaching skills and involving different grade levels, “I want my students to know what it’s like to create something with your hands and give it away to someone else.” The project was also a great way to involve students from all three of the district’s schools.
On May 18th, the older students returned to McNary to present the monsters. The first graders were absolutely overjoyed with the creations, saying things like "it looks just like what I drew” and "this is so cool." The kids were also excited because the 7-12 graders baked them sugar cookies and they got to eat them during the exchange.