I Need My Monster: Descriptive Listening & Inferring

19 October 2013

This past week I had a couple of opportunities to read the book I Need My Monster to students in my small group and also with a second grade classroom.  I've been waiting awhile to read this book with the students because I had read some other posts on teacher blogs about how they used it to assist students with understanding descriptive writing and how it helps create an image in your mind.

Second graders show off their descriptive listening skills with drawings of Gabe, the monster.

As with any great classroom book, you still have to find the correct time to use it.  We can't just shoe-horn in all the books we want.  I needed to have it tied to an objective and luckily the second grade class (and myself) have been working on how to create images in our mind from text and making mental pictures.  They have been doing this with their classroom teacher and also with myself as we've worked on visual literacy and more.  But back to the book---


If you're not familiar this book is about a kid whose monster has left for a week to go fishing and he's left with substitute monsters.  The kid is not happy and he makes it known that these monsters don't have the greatest attributes by describing how they should look.

During the reading of this I had the class grab clipboards and paper, sit on the carpet, then we turned off the lights (because we were reading about monsters).  The instructions were to draw what they thought Gabe (the boy's monster) looked like based on all the descriptions they heard.

I loved reading this with the students because every couple of sentences we would stop and dissect what was being said by identifying vocabulary and defining the words as a group.  We also went back and looked at  all the images of different monsters he sees in the night.

When it was all over the students shared the monsters they drew based on what they heard and knew.  I was also surprised that not a single student had read the book, because then it can kind of throw the whole thing off. 

"Rumble, Rumble"---AWESOME!!

What I like about this book (and with so many others) is that it can be used multiple ways to teach.  There's another teacher who read it and had fourth graders draw what they thought the other substitute monsters looked like (also working on descriptive writing).  

I'd recommend this book/activity to anyone at just about any grade level.  

There is also an app for this book:  LINK HERE

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