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Lesson Plans

Re: Cultural Diversity Mural

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Michelle H. Harrell (michelle_h_harrell)
Sun, 28 Nov 1999 09:12:42 EST

Last year, my principal hired a mural artist to draw the outline of a mural
along three huge walls in the cafeteria (without telling me anything about
until he was finished). Then, my classes were to "color it in" with the
materials I used for my art budget. Well, to make a long whiney "I can't
believe he's making me do this" story slightly shorter, we took the
opportunity in painting it to add more cultural diversity and originality.
The murals showed students painting a mural on the character traits, on a
sailboat with our mascot, and flying away on a hot air balloon. I wanted
each figure in the mural to represent a different ethnic background.
Students mastered the flesh tone crayola paints I had and represented
several different tones of many races in our school.

Your mural is more of the kind I'd like to do. As far as preparing them for
making a mural, Diego Rivera is my favorite mural artist. There's also
probably some murals in or around your community that your kids are probably
familiar with. Questions like "what would be different about making a
successful design for a large mural versus one for a small painting" might
start an interesting dialog. This would be a great lesson to emphasize
unity and variety in a work of art. Going with some kind of theme with
attention given to differences in flesh tones like many hands doing
something, or many feet doing something.

The hardest thing for me to get my middle school kids to do is to work as a
team instead of each trying to do their own "area." I found jobs work well-
like flesh tone expert, lettering style expert, etc. BTW, start searching
for mistints now in the paint shop. It saved me a fortune.

Whatever you do, good luck!
Michelle H. Harrell
North Garner Middle School
Garner, North Carolina

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