Introduction: MAP MONSTERS

About: I am an artist living and teaching ART in NYC for over 30 years, and I am a CZT, Certified Zentangle Teacher. I love to explore all sorts of art making both in my teaching and in my own work...check out my s...

Learning Geography can become more fun when students are encouraged to add an artistic touch. Map Monsters is a wonderful cross-curricular activity that I do with my students that incorporates Geography, or reading maps and visual arts. After learning a particular geographic of an area of the world the children look for monsters hidden along the borders of the countries! Using whatever drawing tools are handy the monsters begin to climb out of the map!
Students enjoy learning the objectives of art and geography through creative experiences.

Step 1: Supplies

Supplies for this project are very basic.  One needs a map and drawing (or / and watercolors) materials. I like to use assorted markers, colored pencils and metallic markers.

Step 2: White Out

Oh and white out (or acrylic paint) is perfect for eyes and teeth!

Step 3: First Step

First take a look at the map to find a monster image hidden somewhere along a countries border or deep in the mountains....

Step 4: Identifying Your Monsters

When you have found an image of a monster lightly draw over the map with pencil. When you are certain of your desired shape go over pencil drawing with a sharpie marker. 

Step 5: Adding the Eyes and Teeth

Next if my monster has eyes or teeth, mine usually do but yours do not have to!
I use white out to identify these features. 

Step 6: Adding Color

Using color pencil, watercolor and markers begin to fill in the creatures features with color and add detail.

Step 7: More Monsters

Finishing touches are added and this Map Monster is complete.

Step 8: More Monsters From Around the World!

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    22 Discussions

    Love these! I only learned the soldier on the U.S. Flag as a kid. See photo! :) your monsters are more fun!

    16, 12:06 AM.jpg
    1 reply

    Love these! I only learned the soldier on the IS

    Love these! Defiantly trying this! Your artistic style reminds me a lot of shel silverstine...

    1 reply

    Love this project. What a fantastic way to learn while drawing anywhere in the world...... Possibilities combing teaching and art are endless...... Thanks for a great idea!

    Wonderful monster. :D

    Hehe, I use to do the same thing in grade school, only for circled math answers. I use to make them in to all kinds of creatures which my teacher were none to pleased with. ;D
    But then I was always bored in class and felt that we didn't have enough arts and crafts. ;)

    wow this is really cool. btw, where do you get all the maps? or do you just have a bunch ''laying around''?

    1 reply

    Well I'll tell ya Flyingfox567......people are forever trying to get rid of their treasured National Geographic magazine collections, they subscribe to them, they love them, read them, look at the pictures and then they dont know what to do with them, after many years of collecting... eventually, they give them to rummage sales, garage sales, they donate them where ever possible. Sometimes they will pay you to take them.....I take the maps. National Geographic maps are the best.
    and yes, needless to say, I have a bunch of maps laying around waiting for my monsters to crawl out of them!

    A great and fascinating way to use maps!!! This will be educationally stmiulatingand fun for the students AND their teachers. Super!!

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    Oh I just ADORE these! What a fun fun way to talk about maps! I am thinking of using this in my classroom next year to teach art history. Using your idea, the monster could be made using a technique by the artist to illustrate the area he or she came from. WONDERFUL idea! I am also going to share with with my colleagues!

    1 reply

    BTW, have you ever thought of making this idea into a book? I could see these used as rich illustrations to teach a lesson about a region, perhaps filled with facts, but the "monster" of the area could be telling the story. Again well done!