I've been back to Orchard Junior School for a second year to help with their Greeks topic. The children have been tasked with writing an additional chapter for the story of Odysseus, which means creating a new Greek monster for their tale, so to give them inspiration I spent some time in three classes drawing various beasties and creatures. We discussed how many of the Greek monsters are human and animal hybrids, or just animal hybrids, and looked at how a habitat might shape the kind of creature that resided there, so when I suggested a mountain environment the children would suggest, for example, golden eagle, mountain goat and bear, and I'd draw an amalgamation at the front of the class. After a few of these the children knuckled down to develop their own monsters while I helped show them how to draw a wolf's head, or a scorpion's tail, or a crab's claw. It was an extremely busy morning but there were some immediate and very satisfying results from the children.
The next step is that the children will complete their story, and whoever is deemed to have written the most exciting, dramatic and descriptive tale will get their monster drawn by me and presented as a framed piece of art. Last year this went down very well, so looking forward to reading the shortlisted stories soon.