A primary school project your students will love – the Monster project – sign up opens 12 September!

Last year we participated in a yearly project run by Terry Smith, Assistant Professor of Education at Western Illinois University in the USA. I was the IT support to Grade 5B at Fish Hoek Primary who actually won the Top Monster Award with their Tokoloshi Afrika! Let me tell you about it – maybe you would like to participate this year. 

A word from Terry Smith the project leader

“Greetings Monster Makers,

Remember Tokoloshi-Afrika from Mrs. Beagley’s class in Cape Town, South Africa? That was last year’s TOP Monster. Be warned – the Monsters are coming again in 2011!! Another year, another colossal collaborative global event – Be There, If You Dare!

Project site: http://www.smithclass.org/proj/Monsters

To Join: e-mail smithterryk@gmail.com

See Past Photos and Student Work: http://www.smithclass.org/proj/Monsters

Get Signed Up – Sept 12-23″

How we went about it in 2009

It all started in a mysterious way. Mrs Beal (that’s me) and Mrs Beagley got to hear about a global Monster Literacy and Design Technology project. 38 classes from around the world were collaborating by each giving a description of a part of a monster in the form of 8-12 adjectives, and then actually making the monster from everybody’s adjectives. It was a type of competition because in the end everyone votes for the best monster. Well, you know what Mrs Beagley is like – she LOVES learning that is combined with fun! And you know what Mrs Beal is like – she ADORES global projects. The project is run by an Assistent Professor of Education at Western Illinois University in the United States, so we looked at his website, found out all about it – and JOINED!!! We had 30 days to make our monster…till the end of October.

We sent in a photo and description of the class

First we had to send in a photo and description of our class for Mr Smith to upload to his website. This is what we wrote about Grade 5B

monster project

We chose a body part which was available on the monster website

Well…to continue our tale. By the time we signed up not too many parts were left. We chose the earings. Here is our final description of the earings.


We started to design a monster according to the descriptions given by the other classes of the body parts they had chosen. 

Designing the monster

We downloaded all the 38 classes’ descriptions, printed them out and Mrs Beagley’s class got down to work, in their groups. When they had finished Mrs Beagley selected the best one.

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Then it was a case of cutting out from card



There was a lot of painting involved.



The classed used so many different materials


We even had a visit from 40 of the Microsoft Innovative Teacher finalists attending the World Finals event. They loved the monster. 



Terry Smith sent us updates all the time from the 38 classes. The last step was to find a name. We decided on Tokoloshi-Afrika.



The other classes all voted on the best monster. Mrs Beagley’s class won!

Now for a word from Tokoloshi-Afrika himself.  Click on the picture and then click on the play button on the new page.


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