Monsters invaded Desiree Moore’s third-grade classroom on Tuesday and spread south into the Cicero North Syracuse School District as part of a distance learning initiative between Oswego County BOCES and the Phoenix Central School District.
The program, Monster Match, pairs a local class with one outside of the county, and each class creates a monster using materials from a list provided.
After constructing their monster, the class writes a description of it and sends the description to their partner class via email. Each class then re-creates the monster based only on the written description. The project culminates with a videoconference that connects the two classes.
On Tuesday, that is exactly what happened when students from Moore’s class at Michael A. Maroun Elementary connected with Darci Larose’s third-graders at Lakeshore Road Elementary School to compare their re-created monsters with the original monster.
“My students loved all the details and the creativity,” Moore told the Lakeshore Road students as they compared their creations and discussed similarities and differences with each.
Overall, the Gravity Destroyer was re-created by five groups of Moore’s students, and each had a striking resemblance to the original one that their partner school made.
While the students may have viewed the activity as a recreational one, Moore noted that it was a great learning tool.
“I think this really helps teach 21st-century skills,” she said. “The students have to collaborate on their own monster. They have to communicate and create directions that are easy to follow and they have to follow other people’s directions. They learn about other communities. It also builds on the reading and writing and gives them an outlet to be creative.”
As the videoconference drew to a close, Moore’s students were asked what they thought of the program. “I want to do it every year,” student Mackenzie Chetney said.