BEFORE YOU START
Play the game by going to the Children’s BBC website.
Screenshot taken from Monster Maker. Monster Maker is one of many fun and imaginative dressing up games designed by Children’s BBC.
Aims: for students to practise using have/has got, the present simple and continuous, and vocabulary for parts of the body and accessories; and to develop their listening, writing and speaking skills by preparing and doing an information gap task
Resources: Monster Maker game, one computer with Adobe Flash player per 2-3 students, worksheet
Age: 5-7, 8-10
Time: 20 minutes plus optional extension
Before the lesson
- Play Monster Maker and create your own monster, noting down all the vocabulary needed at each stage and building up a step-by-step description of the monster. Grade the text according to your students’ level. For example:
- My monster has got wide shoulders and a big star on his body.
- He’s got a triangular head with two long antennae, like an insect.
- He’s got eight legs, like an octopus.
- He’s got two strong, muscular arms with a bracelet on each arm and a bandage on each hand.
- He’s got two round eyes with big black eyeballs and thin eyebrows.
- He hasn’t got a nose. How does he smell? He smells terrible.
- He’s got a small mouth with two white tusks, like an elephant.
- He’s wearing a belt around his waist.
- He’s got scales all over his body, like a crocodile. He’s bright green.
- He’s on a strange blue planet.
- Either print copies of your monster to give to students or save a PDF to show on your classroom computer.
During the lesson
- Tell students you’ve created a monster and they are going to create its identical twin using an interactive game.
- Put students in pairs and ask them to open the game. Tell them to listen carefully to ten parts of your description. Read out each description in turn, repeating information if needed. Monitor to check students are on task and have understood each description.
- Once you have finished, ask students from different groups to describe the monster to the whole class. Do not confirm right or wrong answers at this stage.
- Reveal the monster on your screen and ask students to compare it with their own, saying what is different about their own monster.
- Students then work in pairs to create their own monsters, taking care not to show them to other pairs. Tell students to save or print their monsters and then write a short description, once again keeping this secret from everyone else.
- Students take turns to describe their monster to another pair, who have to listen and create it using the game.
- Once again, when students reveal their pictures, ask students to compare them with the monsters they created.
TAKING IT FURTHER
Depending on your students and the time available, you could:
- ask students to read, rather than listen to, your own or each other’s descriptions
- have students compare and contrast different monsters in more detail, focusing on comparative and superlative adjectives
- use the finished monsters as the basis of a Top Trumps-style card game, where each monster is assigned points for strength, speed, ugliness and so on, again focusing on comparative and superlative adjectives
- play a whole-class game of Guess Who? using the student-generated monster collection to practise question formation
- use the monsters as characters in a piece of creative writing.
OVER TO YOU
Do you feel you could use this lesson idea with your students? If so, how would you integrate it into your curriculum? How would you make sure your students used English?
Can you think of any other ways of using Monster Maker in the classroom?