Making Monster Faces featuring Youkai Watch

This one is inspired by a YICA lesson for 2nd grade that has the kids make faces. The graphics for this lesson were kind of… Uninspiring. And, this lesson often falls between summer and Halloween, so the idea of a monstrous face came to me. 

I mined these monsters from a dollar store Youkai Watch coloring book. The originals are here, too. I chopped out the facial features that appear in “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” to make a coherent set.

This game is played in pairs. One kid cuts out a piece of the face, puts some glue on the back, and covers their eyes. The other kid has to describe where the piece should go using English vocab, typically “up, down, right, left”. When the guiding kid says, “stop,” the other kid has to plant that piece wherever they are. Usually this results in some awesomely weird, skewed faces. The kids do one facial feature, then trade places for the next. When they finish the face, I have them make up a name for their monster. That’s what the space at the bottom is for. In the Youkai Watch anime, monsters’ names appear in a box like that beside them. The kids will likely recognize it without being told.

If we have enough time left in the class, I have them introduce themselves as their monster, holding up the monster page like a mask, and then put them all up on the board for everyone to see. There’s a lot of giggling involved in that last part.

There are six possible monsters and six possible combinations of four facial features each with three variations. Last time I printed them out on colored paper and handed each out semi-randomly to the pairs of kids. With that much variation, no two monsters are exactly the same. Sometimes the kids get caught up on whether they get their favorite character’s body or facial feature but it’s not usually a big deal. I demo on the board with the teacher and make sure to choose a less popular monster and weird face to work with. Then, I screw up the face on purpose a little while playing so they get the notion that this isn’t supposed to be some pristine, perfect thing. It’s actually more fun and better if you cut loose just a little.

As a bonus, here’s the little guide I printed at the bottom of the pages of the class that doesn’t listen to anything I say.


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