Empowering Writers

I Need My Monster – Using Literature as a Vehicle for Teaching Narrative Writing

“I Need My Monster”
by Amanda Noll

Who doesn’t love a monster? “I Need my Monster” by Amanda Noll is a wonderful, evocative picture book that kids will adore. And that’s not all – besides its sheer entertainment value, it includes so many characteristics of powerful narrative writing. Vivid elaborative detail, a sense of suspense, powerful descriptive words…everything we hope our young writers will emulate.

What follows is not just a single lesson, but a series of inspiring activities based on the book that you can use to really engage your young writers. Students will be encouraged to summarize the story, thus outlining the author’s basic prewriting plan. This is critical, as it helps them recognize the difference between a simple summary and a fully elaborated text. The summarizing framework that’s included can also be used as a pre-writing tool. This relationship between summarization and prewriting establishes a powerful reading-writing connection.

Another opportunity involves identifying monster characteristics, enjoying the richness of the language, and then modeling the use of detail-generating questions so that students can write their own monster descriptions. The icing on the cake is introducing and practicing suspense! Included in the lesson is a lift the flap lesson in which students create their own monster hiding under the bed! You’ll also love to see the actual student writing samples. These will give you a good sense of what primary grade youngsters are able to do with these activities. Download the lesson plans and enjoy!


Download Seasonal Lesson I Need My Monster