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[teacherartexchange] Linda Woods 2nd Grade City Murals - plus update


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 02 2007 - 08:50:36 PST

Dear Art Educators,

Linda sent me some images of her second grade murals. You can see them
on her school site:
Lower School Gallery - Grade two city murals.

I will be adding them to the Murals Ideas page.

From Linda:

These were murals created by groups of 2nd graders (3 or 4 to a group).
They are large, approximately 28 x40, some even larger. We just
recently donated
them to DePelchin Children's Center, which is a place for abused, neglected,
and otherwise traumatized kids. It's the first kid art they are putting up, but
we hope to give them more. I'm creating a CD for each of my students
with all of the
18 murals on it, and I am designing greeting card templates that will
be on the cd as well.
The images of the murals alone will be large enough to have printed
out in poster size.

First thing we did was paint the skies about 2/3 of the way down a
28x36 piece of white
100 pound paper. I showed the kids a book called Texas Skies, and we
talked about
clouds, weather, etc. We looked at the book, Skyscrapers. Each child
in every group then
made a symmetrical skyscraper from a folded piece of paper in varying
widths (so they
would not all look the same height and width) building in neutral
colors and gold metallic trim, with interesting shapes for the tops of
the building. Using the first cut out skyscraper shape folded in half
over a larger piece of folded paper, students added another layer in a
different neutral color, multi cut the windows, folded those over
another color and then multi cut the frames.

The next row of buildings called for children to select a group of
left over Eric Carle style painted paper, various metallics, and
construction paper colors that they would repeat in various ways
throughout the middle row. For instance, if one building had a purple
metallic door frame, another one might have a purple metallic bell
tower. If one child used blue construction paper in a main building
shape, another child in the group might use that same blue for doors
and shutters on their building. The purpose was to create unity,
contrast, and balance.

Basically, they all made their buildings from shared papers collected
in advance together as they talked about what colors looked good with
other colors. Before they glued these buildings down overlapping the
back row, they painted a street in front of the back row of buildings,
and they painted a lighter cement color down to the bottom of where
the second row of buildings would rest when they got ready to glue
them down. That way, they covered up art of their sky and created
background for the second row of buildings at the same time. Now it
was time to think about the foreground. We discussed the space in the
foreground. I asked them to think about what would happen when they
walked out the front door of the front row of buildings.

I said, "When you walk out the front door, you step onto a _________
(Sidewalk), as you step off of the sidewalk, you step into the
___________ (street). When you cross the street, you step onto a
_______________ (Sidewalk). As you cross the sidewalk, coming
forward, you walk into a _______________________ (Park, beach, harbor,
skating rink, yacht club, marina, race track, etc. I showed the
children how easy it would be to fold a 24 inch piece of paper in half
and cut a bridge by cutting a low arch, then a high arch (perhaps with
interesting shapes spaced out along the way). Then they thought about
how they could use multiple cutting of skinny strips, rectangles, etc.
to make the upright cables to the top of the bridge as well as the
supports below. Working in layers, children created each spatial area
working from the bottom of their front row of buildings...sidewalk
with people/pets on it, street with vehicles and passengers, sidewalk
with more people on it, perhaps a long wrought iron fence entrance
into a park, or trees that overlap the sidewalk and street and even
some of the buildings, painted paper for the park, more painted paper
cut out and glued on for paths, jogging trails, etc. Details for the
foreground area... more people, perhaps pets, benches, plants, ponds,
wildlife, etc.

The icing on the cake was glitter. We added some clear glittery wavy
lines to ponds and oceans. We also added some glitter to signs,
lights, etc. They of course, LOVED that part. I knew to save it til
last, and I monitored each group as we added the glitter in a safe way
together. NO fingers in the glitter, they glue one color at a time
(with some coaching or suggestions from me), I pour and dump it off
onto a folded page. The project took about 6 weeks, but it involved
the children in such wonderful ways. First of all, to see second
graders planning and compromising was wonderful. There were two
groups from the start that had some interpersonal issues, but they
learned to solve them, and in the end each group really felt like a
team. They kept each other busy and the ideas just flowed.
Update on Linda:

Linda Woods is very appreciative of your thoughts, cards and prayers.
She has made it through her first round of chemo. (for those new to
the list, Linda Woods was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer).
Linda has created a new web site to post her updates:
You can read her story there.

Linda has taken time off from school now and will take more time off
in the fall for additional surgery.

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