My monster in a bottle

Taking inspiration from one of the scenes in the book project I’m currently working on, I’m preparing a class on “monsters in a bottle.” In truth, the inspiration for this idea goes back to my childhood when I used to see this whimsical advertisement in my comic books for “sea monkeys”:


As you might guess, the sea monkeys didn’t really look like the illustration . . . they are basically shrimp.

Well, magical creatures in a bottle may be a disappointing exercise in reality, but I’ve decided it’s a great idea for a creative writing class. Since I have a camp upcoming on the theme of “monsters and mythology,” I’m creating a workshop in which my students will assemble their own magical monster bottle. They will put in a few important “raw ingredients” such as a feather or a claw. They will label and tag the bottle and then write a series of instructions to explain how someone would “hatch” the bottle and turn it into a full-grown monster.

Here’s some photos of the sample bottle I put together:




I’m also hoping that this will inspire them to write a lengthier story. After all, what if someone doesn’t quite follow the instructions correctly? There’s all sorts of story possibilities!


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