Monsters Come to Life

Jacob Strubhar, senior, ad Owen Hannevig, sophomore, work on creating their monsters for Mrs. Allar’s kindergarten class.

Autumn Gantz, Staffer

Monsters usually scare kids, but not in this case! A textile class of fifteen high schoolers make monsters out of fabric and thread to give to kindergarteners. Mrs. Culbert, the teacher of the textile class, ssaid, “It’s ‘cross-curriculum’, and the high schoolers make the kindergartners’ drawings come to life.” 

“Last year we did this and it was virtual. We asked the kids questions and talked to them over zoom, but this year has been better because we’ve been able to go and talk to the kids,” said Culbert.  Not only has this benefited the kindergarteners substantially, but the interaction has also been beneficial to the high schoolers. 

Lilly Barra, senior,    “I think it’s important because the younger kids are inspired by the high schoolers and the high schoolers learn important life skills. It benefits the kindergartens because they get so excited to see something that they created come to life. They look up to the older kids and watch them set examples and form connections. It benefits the high schoolers because we get to learn how to sew and cooperate with kids. It’s an amazing experience overall and everybody loves doing it.”

So far, the high schoolers have only gone to the elementary school once to meet the kids and receive their drawings, but the high schoolers will go over again to give the young kids their personal creations. 

Mrs. Allar, Kindergarten teacher,  said, “The kiddos absolutely love collaborating with the high school students.  When I first introduced the project to them, I explained that they get to create a character that the older kids will help make come to life.  They really get excited.  They see the high school students as celebrities that make magic happen.  We do a lot in kindergarten with characters, setting, and plot.  To have their own character in their own story with traits that they’ve come up with makes them feel like authors and illustrators of their own stories.”

Mrs. Allar also mentioned how the kindergarteners’ moods have changed since last year from doing the meet and greet over zoom to now that everything is in person. “When they came over to review their drawings and acquire more information about their monster character, the kids were really into it.  Being able to meet in person really allowed my kids to focus on building a storyline for their character and it made the process feel real.  Last year, the kids were very excited for the project but it didn’t always feel “real” until we met with the final project because they weren’t getting to talk in person.”