The project is part of the advanced placement and college preparatory literature curriculum, and comes after students read “Frankenstein,” written by Mary Shelley.
“After they read the novel, they create their own monsters,” Andrea Conner, a language arts teacher at Batavia High School, said. “It’s a learning experience.”
Conner said the project often turns out to be a teamwork activity, and creating a bigger-than-life-sized monster from scratch can be challenging.
“They get to choose their own groups and they have to work together,” Conner said.
She said the students work on the monsters for about a month, and once they are complete, a contest is held to determine which group created the best monster.
This year more than 10 groups competed for the best monster, and their creations included everything from a monster that resembled Santa Clause, to a tiny elf-like monster. There was also one group that built their monster around one of their group members.
The winning monster this year was a well-designed, nearly 10 foot tall rendition of Frankenstein, created by Brooke Embry, Samantha Heinlein, Josh McGeorge and Aaron Wood.
“We’re all really good friends, and we didn’t procrastinate,” Heinlein said about her group success.
She said they made the monster out of chicken wire and plastic wrap. They heated the plastic wrap so it shrunk and conformed to the wire. Then they spray painted the outside.
When deciding on what to make the monster look like, they used descriptions from the book, but also had to be creative.
“It gave us the opportunity to use our own imagination,” Wood said about the project.
Seniors normally complete the projects before Halloween each year.
This year, the winners were announced during the school’s pep rally, and the highest placing monsters were displayed at the home football game that evening.