Thursday, August 29, 2019

First Day of School Collaborative Artwork

Here is the large mural displayed above some lockers.
I teach in a really small school where everyone pretty much already knows everyone so instead of a getting to know you activity, I like to start the year with some type of collaborative project. This helps us get some artwork up in the blank hallways quickly, gives the students a chance to interact and helps establish a positive classroom culture. Do you have lots of students switching classes in the first couple days of school? This helps with that issue as well. There were no abandoned projects because of students changing classes.
Here's my room before I moved tables to hold the in-progress murals.
Our StuCo picked "Nobody rides this ship. We all row. We're all in." for a theme for the year so I drew the biggest “mural” out ahead of time based on that saying and had it stretched across 3 tables in the art room. Each class painted and we finished it before the end of the day. The students planned the colors and added more details as they worked. When it became clear that it would be finished before my last class came in, I grabbed some more butcher paper and sketched out another table sized mural. We ended up making a couple more that the students designed and I sketched out under their direction to make it quicker. Next year I may have the students work in groups to completely design and create murals I just did not expect them to finish so quickly this year so I adapted!
We used tempera sticks to sketch and outline details as well as add highlights on top of tempera paint. We’ve gotten so many positive comments on the paintings and I was even asked to send a picture for the district newsletter. This may become our first day of school tradition!

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