I good first day idea is for all to do a "piece of the puzzle". They
can work on their piece while you are going over the rules with them.
Doing the collaborative murals will give them the idea that they all
must work together - each one is important. You can easily do this on
the first day with a little prep on your part ahead of time. The way I
am going to describe it does not allow for creativity on their part -
other than choosing colors and patterns. You can have them pick out
their colors themselves - of give them color schemes slips (choose
from a "fish bowl" at random).
To make it go smoothly on the first day and get the murals done, You
could actually tape some roll paper up on the wall - project what you
want the mural to be onto the paper and trace the lines yourself (go
voer them with heavy black marker) Turn it over and grid the back
side, number each square - then cut apart.
You could have the kids do a portrait of the principle -- an Art Quote
or character words (large letters) - a famous painting (you can get
coloring books with line drawings of famous paintings - very
This idea as a first day project was suggested to the list by Michal
Austin (two years ago?).... and many have done it since. Don't ask me
how I remember that, I just do.
There is a more in depth lesson plan by Mark Alan Anderson linked to
middle school lessons (Collaborative Mural - on a Matrix).
Here is a file you can revise for a mixer - BINGO by Marty Reid:
You could give prizes for the first five across - first diagonal -
first down (there are six going down)... and have a bigger prize for
the first to cover all.
Here is an idea I liked to do the first day while I was going over the rules.
I made my own handout... lesson was not about religion... it was about
personal identity - hopes and dreams - values (more on character
education) - and it set the tone for the trimester. My lessons were
all about character education (although those details are not written
into my plans.... takes too much time to write it all down).
I am interested in adding on to the Art Night - First Day/Week of
school ideas.... send in yours to add to the page. Carolyn Roberts'
high school kids did the assistant principal - it was wonderful.
Little kiddles could do it with the drawing already done. If they do
colors and patterns, the result could be sort of Chuck Close like. You
could actually have three different murals. Get some parent volunteers
to help you tape them up onto the walls.