Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Art
- large sheet of brown butcher paper
- child-safety scissors
- drawing paper and construction paper
- markers, crayons, pencils, and paint
Objective: Children will work together to create a mural that encourages social development, language and literacy skills, and creativity.
1. Explain to the children that they will work together to create a class mural that tells a story. Tell the children that they can create a mural about a favorite read-aloud book or they can choose a theme such as our neighborhood, the zoo, outer space, the jungle, and so on. Encourage children to work together to plan their theme.
2. Show children the large sheet of mural paper. Ask them to think about the different pictures they will need to create for their mural. Work with children to map out the areas of the mural. If it is an outdoor scene, where will the sky be? Will there be roads or rivers? What would an indoor scene look like? Children can begin by painting the sky, ground, or other elements of the mural directly onto the paper.
3. Involve children in making a list of all of the different types of pictures they will need to draw to complete their mural. Ask children to choose things they would like to draw and provide them with the suggested art materials. Some children may enjoy finding pictures in magazines.
4. Assist children in assembling their mural. Find an area on a wall to display it. Encourage children to continue to add drawings or collage elements to the story mural, and invite them to discuss with their classmates why they have made these additions.
5. Allow children to dictate stories about events that take place in environments they have created on their mural. For instance, if children created a jungle scene, they may want to dictate stories about the animals they encountered there or the night they spent in the jungle, including the night sounds and sights they experienced. Display children's stories near the mural so that they can be enjoyed by classmates, parents, and other classroom visitors.
Storytelling: Invite children to create a group story about the mural. Record their story using a cassette recorder.
Music: Provide children with rhythm instruments. As they listen to their recorded story, encourage them to create musical sound effects.
Writing: Children can write their own stories about the mural and add their writing to the mural display.
This activity originally appeared in the October, 2000 issue of Early Childhood Today.