Torn Paper Collage Monsters


“Let the wild rumpus start!”
~ Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Torn paper collages are a perennial favorite in our classrooms. We create them as a literature connection activity, after reading Where The Wild Things Are.


  • Colorful construction paper
  • Glue


First, we read Where The Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak. It is really fun to act out parts of the book, by making a “wild rumpus” in the classroom. We pretend there is a large bonfire in our class, and we are all wild monsters. The kids use their imagination and visualize what kind of creature they are. What color is their fur? Do they have claws, warts, and tails? The kids pair-share with a partner and describe how their monsters look like.

Next, we demonstrate how to tear paper. The kids often get frustrated with tearing  paper and want to use scissors. However, it is crucial to tear the paper and embrace the unpredictability of the outcome. Manipulating paper is a great way to practice fine motor skills. Once the kids get the hang of it, they absolutely love tearing the paper.

We also show them that combining seemingly random shapes can create really interesting pictures. The imperfection is part of the appeal. Once introduced, the technique can be used to make all kinds of amazing artwork. We spruce up book covers, holiday cards, and bookmarks.

Let the wild rumpus start!

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