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Author and illustrator Matt Stanton gives tips on drawing monsters and curing boredom

March 29, 2020 4:33AM Kids News

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Matt Stanton’s Monday Monster with antennae, tentacle arms and sneakers. media_cameraMatt Stanton’s Monday Monster with antennae, tentacle arms and sneakers.

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Reading level: green

Best-selling children’s author and illustrator Matt Stanton has declared the first day of every working week Monster Monday. Here he explains why drawing monsters is a cure for boredom.

‘I’m bored!’ says everyone’s kid right now.

Parents are looking for solutions — and lots of them.

Mostly we entertain ourselves with “inputs*”. We consume TV, video games, books and music. We respond to something external.

The problem is those external things run out (or the batteries die!). We consume them until we’re bored of them, too. We use them up.

That’s why the best cure for boredom is creativity.

Children's author and illustrator Matt Stanton media_cameraChildren’s author and illustrator Matt Stanton.

Creativity is not an “input”, it’s an “output*”. And you don’t use it up. Instead, it self-generates* like momentum*. The more you use it, the more of it there is.

So, in times of isolation*, kids should be encouraged to make something. They can draw it, write it, sing it, build it, perform it, design it, play it, dance it … whatever works for them.

On my YouTube channel we create monsters every Monday. The good thing about drawing monsters is that you can’t get it wrong (no one knows what a monster is supposed to look like!)

That’s one of the things that is so fun about creativity. Unlike school, you can’t get it wrong!

Watch Matt draw his own monster at kidsnews.com.au

Matt Stanton gives tips on how to draw a monster

MATT’S TIPS FOR DRAWING MONSTERS

  1. Decide how many eyes your monster should have
  2. Think about a shape for the body – could be a triangle, a square, a rhombus*!
  3. Arms, legs, tentacles*? You get to choose.
  4. What would your monster feel like? Slimy? Furry? Spiky?
  5. Remember: you can’t get it wrong! No one knows what monsters look like anyway!

* Matt Stanton has sold more than one million books and his new book Funny Kid Peeking Duck, (ABC books) is out on April 20 and available to pre-order from all good bookshops and online.
Matt is broadcasting a daily YouTube Live video from his studio, just for kids, with drawing projects, creative writing activities, book readings and more. Visit: bit.ly/MattStantonMonsterMonday

GLOSSARY

  • inputs: things that are taken in and processed by us
  • outputs: things made by a person, machine, or industry
  • self-generates: to make something happen yourself
  • momentum: motion or movement
  • rhombus: a shape with four straight equal sides
  • tentacles: a flexible arm used to touch and grab things

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. Name three types of inputs.
  2. Matt Stanton says the best cure for boredom is what?
  3. He says the good thing about monsters is what?
  4. Where does he create monsters every Monday?
  5. How many books has Matt Stanton sold?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY


CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
Prep to Year 2
Draw your monster. Then draw a setting around your monster (where are they standing?) The moon? Your classroom? Fuzzy-wuzzy-land?

Years 3-4
Draw your monster. Then draw a place that your monster really wants to go to. Then come up with an obstacle that stops your monster getting to that place. Have your monster solve the problem and you have a story. Tell it to someone!

Years 5-6
Draw your monster. Send them on a quest for something that they really want. Come up with three things that could stop them. Have then solve each problem and then get what they wanted. Now, write that story! Remember to use lots of description!

Years 7-9
Draw your monster. Come up with something they want but then create a bad guy who is determined to stop them getting it. Now, write out the dialogue between the monster and the bad guy like a script or play. Turn your script into a comic by drawing the action!

Time: allow 30 minutes for this activity
Curriculum Links: Visual Arts, English


VCOP ACTIVITY
Proper Noun Police
A proper noun is a noun that names a particular person, place or thing. It always has a capital letter.

  • How many proper nouns can you find within this article? Find them all and sort them into the category of name, place, time (date/month).
  • Can you find any proper nouns included in your writing?
  • What are they?
  • Can you sort them into their categories?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you agree creativity is a good boredom buster? Why?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.

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