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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:43:38 -0500 (EST)

Anne, I have done murals with both elementary and middle school students,
both indoors and outside. Middle school students can help with prep work, but
I did it all for the elementary school. This includes washing the walls
(hopefully not having to scrape),taping and priming. Parents could do this;
I chose not to get them involved. For the 5th grade mural, we picked a nature
theme and everyone made sketches. For sanity's (and safety's) sake, only half
the class could work on the mural at a time. I made a general plan, and
spread them out so no one was in another's way. Children drew their animals
large in chalk, and then outlined them with paint to keep it from smudging.
When they got their turn again, they painted the animal in and added details.
Meanwhile, the other half of the class stayed in the room, but did something
else. I always videotape the process, and the reward for students NOT
painting is to get a turn on the camera, IF they are doing the right thing
(it's a good incentive). Toward the end, as enthusiasm died down, I recruited
a core group of students who finished off the backgrounds, etc. after school.
Most of the paint was donated by families, and I bought a few standard colors
with PTO money. The outdoor mural is now 5 years old, and still in good shape
even though we did not use any sealant (and the custodian vowed to cover it
with snow when he did snowblowing, as he hated it!). The 4th graders painted
all my cabinet doors with animals and they look great! Last fall, we did a
mural in a classroom using tempera (no latex available). I covered it with
acrylic medium, and so far, it is fine. The latex is extremely messy, sticky,
and hard to clean up so you have to be really organized. Here's one more
idea: several classroom teachers organized a school-wide project in which
every child and staffer made a self portrait on 9x 12 paper. They mounted
them on long pieces of butcher paper and then put them up in the cafeteria
under the heading "Each of us is unique; put us together and the picture is
complete." It is stunning! (And a lot easier than painting...)

Diane Jaquith
Burr School
Newton, MA