31 October 2013

Monsters Invade the Library

Monsters invaded our library this week! There were witches, ghosts, snakes, vampires, and other spooky creatures. Thankfully, these creepy characters were all digital. But thanks to an awesome iPad all called EyePaint Monsters, they looked real enough!

Last week, I started looking for an app we might incorporate into our stories for this week. I found two that were possibilities: Create-A-Monster and EyePaint Monsters. It was easy to dismiss Create-A-Monster right away. Yes, it's free, BUT with very limited capabilities. Most features are locked and clicking on a locked feature asks if you want to purchase it without even telling you how much it will cost. Plus, there were ads and the app just wasn't that exciting anyway. Fortunately, EyePaint Monsters was just the opposite: completely free with no locked features, no ads, and really cool.

EyePaint Monsters allows you to color in a monster coloring sheet using your camera to capture colors, shapes, and textures. It was easy to demonstrate how to use the app and students caught on quickly. The user simply clicks on the area she wants to color, then aims the camera to "color in" that portion of the picture. When students were unable to find the color or pattern they needed by looking around the library, they simply created it using crayons and blank paper. One student figured out that if you put your finger over the camera, it makes a brilliant red color.

I challenged students to connect their illustration to our book. Some used colors inspired by the book, others tried to recreate textures seen on some of the monsters in our stories. I chose five books to read this week. Kindergarten read When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor, first grade chose between No Such Thing by Jackie French Koller and Jitterbug Jam by Barbara Jean Hicks, and second grade had The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein and I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll as options.

The students were so excited to use the iPads in the library this week. And I was so impressed with their ability to quickly learn how to use the app, their creativity, and their responsibility in taking care of our iPads (which currently don't have cases). Can't wait to use them again soon!

Take a look at some of their creations:

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