My search, as always, began downstairs in the Shelves that Craft Day Forgot. There, I found glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and farmer's hats. Upstairs, I found passport-like stickers left over from the Summer Reading Program. Put the stickers on the farmer hat, and you have a great Indiana Jones hat.
So with this, I decided to make nametags with ______ Jones on them, with the ______ being the name of a state. I have a LEGO Indiana Jones keychain on my library lanyard, so naturally that name was taken; then I took the name Wisconsin Jones, Wisconsin being the state our library is in. All fights averted, I randomly handed out other state names to the kids.
We learned about monsters according to the Monsterology book. Here's a write-up of what was taught (I had pictures so that the kids could get good visuals. Never underestimate a Google image search and a quality color printer.You can skip to the activity if you don't care; my feelings will not be hurt. MAYBE my pride):
|Set up in the front. Check out the sweet hat.|
The study of “monsters” is the study of creatures that people have heard and written down stories about, that are supposedly true, but no one can actually prove their existence.
The study of mysterious creatures like this is an actual science, but instead of “monster-ology” it’s called “crypto-zoology”. And people actually do it!
Dr. Ernest Drake discusses three types of mysterious creatures, or “monsters”. Let’s take a look at the first one:
BEASTS OF THE EARTH:
UNICORNS: Beasts of the Earth are creatures that are found on land. One such beast is a unicorn. People love to write stories about unicorns, and in Ancient Greece, they were believed to be real. Lately, though, people think that any unicorn sightings are seeing an animal like an eland in profile, meaning sideways, so that they only see one horn.
We have lots of books and movies that feature unicorns here at the library. They usually have magical powers in those books. If you know any girls who just love unicorns, it’s actually based in fact—in the medieval times, the times of kings and queens; it was thought that unicorns liked girls way better than boys!
BIGFOOT/YETI: Yetis have been talked about all over the world. This is the most famous picture of Bigfoot, taken in 1967. Everyone was so amazed—the first picture of Bigfoot! In turns out, though, that many years later, advanced video editing software was invented, and people could look at video in a whole new way. People started looking more closely and saying, “Hey, this looks like it’s walking like a man! And wait… is that a zipper?!” Later on, one of the guys who took this picture confessed to wearing an ape suit so that this photo could be taken. There have been other sightings of Bigfoot, but none of them in Wisconsin. Even if he were real, it would not nearly be cold enough for him; and he’s not a big Packers fan, I hear.
BEASTS OF THE WATER:
NESSIE: Beasts of the water are beasts that can be found… you guessed it, in the water. One of these beasts is the Loch Ness Monster, otherwise known as “Nessie”. It’s said that she lives in the Loch Ness, a lake in Scotland. This is the most famouspicture of it, taken in 1934. Like the Bigfoot photo, long ago they didn’t have the same equipment they have today to prove that photos are fake. It took a lot less time to debunk this (prove that it was fake) than the Bigfoot picture, because even back then people could see what it really was: a plastic cut-out of a Loch-Ness monster! The photo was taken from far away so it made it look bigger, but even back then, you still could tell it was fake!
GIANT SQUID: Tales of the Giant squid have been around for centuries. This picture is a drawing someone did back in the 1860’s, based on a story someone told. There were many hoaxes, just like for Bigfoot and Nessie. For almost 150 years after this picture was taken, this picture came out. In 2005, when this picture was taken, it was decided that the giant squid is in fact real! They were able to catch it and test it. Since then, a few more have been found. THIS is an animal that has not been debunked!
MERMAID: There have been many stories told about mermaids, and we in the library have quite a few modern books with mermaids in them. Mermaids were talked about by sailors, many of whom were stranded for days with little to eat. Recently, it has been decided that stories of mermaids were probably just manatees, an endangered species of mammal off the coast of Florida. But I guess, if you maybe put some hair on it, and give it a swimsuit top, and a dancing crab for a friend…(I had a picture of the Little Mermaid. We all agreed it was a stretch)
This activity was created completely from scratch 2 hours before the start of the program. I had planned to do a flip book. Instead, I cut out some pictures of monsters and had them make photos to try to trick the public.
...Yeah. It actually went awesome though!
We are going to make our own pictures to try to trick others like the Bigfoot picture and the Loch Ness picture. I have small ones and big ones. YOUR job, is to make some kinda of background where the monster would hide. I want you to choose ONE monster. You can use the whole library, or you can make a scene with the crafts table back there. Once you’ve created or planned a scene, come get me and I’ll give you the monster of your choice. Then, I’ll take a picture of your monster in hiding! Here is the one that I did. Can you tell where it is? I say “created or planned” because it might not be all the way ready when you need the monster. For instance, I placed my mermaid in the flowers and then held a piece of green paper, because I couldn’t glue it.
I sent the kids home with the Indiana Jones hat, and a glow-in-the-dark "Monster repellant" bracelet.