A third year art teacher sees blank space in construction zone at the school. She decides it needs some art, some really fun kid art. Whala, a mural is created.
Our school is always under construction. It is an old school and we are growing in size. I saw this empty space as an opportunity for children to create some artwork for our school community.
After showing the children pictures of murals from all over the world (even showed them Diego Rivera’s work in Mexico), we went outside to see where we would be creating our masterpieces. I decided early on I did not want a theme. I really didn’t want to have these students to create one or two things (everyone paint a flower!), I wanted it to be free and loose and easy. So glad I did this in the end. Having grades Kindergarten through third stick to one idea is pretty much impossible.
To get ready for the mural week, we practiced sketching on large pieces of paper. Some of the kids started to form idea teams and we did end up with a few themes in the end.
Our idea groups mainly picked themes such as space, ocean, sports, Star Wars, nature, and words. Some students ended up working together, some separate, but everyone got to create what they wanted. The only rule I had was that they could not write their name on the wall.
I chose to do the mural in house paint (there is a paint store in the main town right outside of our compound. I got all the primary and secondary colors, black and white. I had students bring in small plastic containers (we get these at the commissary for all sorts of things) and enlisted the help of parent volunteers for the week.
I don’t think I could have done it without all the parents who mixed all the paints, cleaned the brushes between classes, and kept me laughing through the entire process.
Since I see each class twice a week, we got to paint for both class periods. The weather cooperated, the kids were pumped, and everyone worked really hard to create something wonderful and fulfilling. At the end of the week, I was ready to do it all over again. But, we were out of paint, out of wall space, and had to get back inside for other projects.
In the end, I did pick a theme for it all. Pretty much sums up my view of childhood education: