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My Monster Above My Bed

Lesson Plan and Artwork by Nadine Dresbach
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Lesson Plan
Grades 3-7
Creative Writing, Art, Math


This lesson is designed to inspire the imagination. Using Elmer's Glow-in-the-Dark Glue and decorative patterning, students will create a monster that can live above their bed instead of below it. Glue will be used as the primary medium to make the monster, which can then be peeled off and mounted. To accent the piece, the mounting board will be decorated with detailed patterns.


  • Create a creative monster design using inspiration and imagination.
  • Use math and measuring skills to create a patterned border.
  • Write an accompanying short story about the monster.

Supplies Needed

Elmer’s® Glow In The Dark Natural 5 oz
Elmer’s® Glow In The Dark Blue 5 oz
Elmer’s® Glow In The Dark Pink 5 oz
Elmer’s® Glow In The Dark Purple 5 oz
Elmer’s® Glow In The Dark Yellow 5 oz
Elmer’s® Glow In The Dark Orange 5 oz
Sharpie® Permanent Markers, Fine, Assorted, Set of 72
Sharpie® Metallic Permanent Markers, Fine, Assorted, Set of 36
8 Ultra Black™ Mounting Board 9 x 12 in, Pack of 40


Step 1

Create a variety of small imaginative monster designs on paper. Explore textures, shapes and sizes – as well as varying the number of body parts –to create the most interesting visual imagery.

Step 2

Select the best design and enlarge the monster to approximately a 6” scale.

Step 3

Place that drawing underneath a piece of smooth semi-firm clear plastic. A piece of acetate, heavy film or a plastic plate that is clear can be used.

Step 4

Select which colors of the Elmer’s Glow-in-the-Dark glue will be used for the monster. Using a scrap piece of plastic, draw 2” lines with each of the colors to see how thick the glue lines will be. This is a good way to test how hard to squeeze the bottle to get the effect desired. (NOTE: the glue lines will not be raised when it is dry. It will be a thin flat piece when it is finished.)

Step 5

When ready, begin to create the monster. If using glue straight from the bottle, it is best to trace along the outlines and fill in after.

Step 6

Once the monster is completely dry, it will pop off the plastic on its own. If peeling off, wait at least overnight to make sure it is dry enough.

Step 7

Use Sharpies or metallic Sharpies to highlight and emphasize certain areas of the monster. (Tip: Test the highlights first by laying the same clear plastic from Step #3 over the monster. Draw on it and then transfer the same design onto the monster.)

Step 8

Center the monster on the black mounting board. Measure and draw out an appropriate border along the four edges.

Step 9

On a separate piece of paper, experiment with various border patterns that will complement the monster (Note: this step can also be done while waiting for the monster to dry).

Step 10

Select the favorite pattern option and determine which part of the pattern will be decorated in Sharpies and which part will be done using the Elmer’s Glow-in-the-Dark glue.

Step 11

Transfer the pattern lightly in pencil to the black mounting board and outline or fill it in using the appropriate medium.

Step 12

Mount the monster in the center of the black mounting board. The monster’s glow-in-the-dark qualities will “shine” best if it is mounted slightly above the black mounting board. To do this effectively, stack very small pieces of scrap white mat or foam board to the desired height and glue them together. Determine their best placement areas under the monster and attach them with double-sided tape (Note: glue here is NOT recommended as it may reactivate the glue in the monster design). Lastly, measure and mark the monster’s placement and glue the white mounts (and the attached monster) to the black mounting board.

Step 13

Take this opportunity to write a story about the monster: Where did it come from? What does it eat? Where does it sleep? What does it do during the day? This could be mounted below, under or on the back of the piece.

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