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Multi-school collaboration brings monster drawings to life

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POLSON — Cherry Valley first graders got to see their monster drawings brought to life as stuffed “animals” and in books and videos last Friday.

The event at Cherry Valley Elementary School was the culmination of a several months-long, multi-school project spearheaded by Polson High School Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Stephanie Anderson. Anderson heard about another school completing a similar project during a FACS conference she attended last June and thought she’d give it a try. 

First, Anderson invited participation from Cherry Valley students to make monster drawings. Joanie Bowen’s first grade class accepted the invitation and submitted their monster drawings last September. Next, Anderson had students in her high school clothing and textiles class sew stuffed monsters based on the drawings. Initially planned as a draw a picture, make a monster project, the idea grew further when Polson Middle School eighth graders in Tessa Hupka’s ELA class then wrote stories about the monsters. Students spent a month or so writing stories with dialogue that focused on a theme around lessons  - i.e. crossing the street safely, or friendship. 

The project expanded even further when students in Tami Morrison’s media classes created books and videos based on the monsters’ stories.

Middle and high school students surprised first graders with the sewn monsters, books and videos on Jan. 19 at Cherry Valley school. 

Middle schoolers Cash Brown and Dawson Nash worked together to create a book and video. They used Google Slides to create the book and print it out Brown explained. To make the video, they used Adobe Premiere software. A QR code printed on the book links each story to its corresponding video. Classmate Case Cox added that students from different classes don’t typically work together and that he thought the collaboration was fun.

Mixed media students Olivia Cottet and Siena Taylor agreed that the project was fun. Their favorite they said was sharing the monsters, books and videos with first graders who were excited to see what was made from their initial drawings.

“I’m most excited by how many students were involved and bringing three schools together,” Anderson said. 

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