With my kiddos circled around me, I told them we were taking a trip, using our imaginations. We closed our eyes, imagining it was bedtime, and we were tucked in with our coziest blanket and favorite stuffed toy under our arm. And off we went to sleep. While we were deep asleep, a little alien spacecraft landed outside our window. Inside, the friendly aliens were discussing the celebration on their home planet, and how they wanted to bring some visitors to enjoy the fun, but would have them home in time for breakfast and school the next day. They chose us to go to their celebration, and off we flew through the night. We were given cameras to take pictures of the festivities, and all the creatures/aliens we met, the planet we visited, the space ship we rode in, and more. We had a wonderful time, and tired, we were returned home, back to our cozy beds and stuffed animals before morning. When we woke in the morning, we thought we'd had a crazy dream... until we saw the photos we'd taken!! (This, of course, is the connection to the movie.)
Above, a couple of aliens on school pictures; fun lesson idea courtesy of Mr. E.
Anyhow - the point of my lesson was not to show everyone how to draw an alien. The point, of course, was to encourage imaginative thinking. I wanted the kids to learn to trust their own ideas. There were no wrong ideas. I did, of course, expect them to use their best effort, and I used open-ended questions as I circulated, to encourage them to explore their imagination and develop their ideas. For kids doing simple line drawings, perhaps I would ask "what color skin does your alien have? what color is the sky?" and so on... For kids without much detail, I would ask questions such as "How does your alien move? (legs and feet? Or does he have fins? Or wings? Or wheels?)" or "Where was the celebration? What did it look like? What kid of food did you eat? Were there any animals or trees or houses? " and so on... Or simply "Can you tell me about your picture?"