Don't be thwarted by art programs being cut from your school. Here's an inventive way to keep the arts booming in the classroom and beyond in your community.
- 4' x 8' sheet of cardboard or plywood
- Acrylic paint
- Art smocks
- Drop cloth
Gather a gaggle of kids and present them with the idea of creating a mural. Begin with a brainstorm and then ask the kids to sketch ideas to incorporate into the mural. If the children are younger, you may wish to gather their ideas together and outline a mural for them like I did in this episode. Older students will be able to draw out the mural themselves more easily. And any suggestion goes. (Clearly, as seen in the episode's mural depicting a flying dragon, window-shopping flamingo and more hijinks!)
Once the mural has been outlined, have the artists fill it in with paint. I like to encourage mixing new shades of usual colors. (Adding white paint to the usual rainbow of colors gives you some nice tints.)
When the mural is dry, find the perfect place to hang it… in a school hallway, at the local Boys & Girls Club, a children's hospital or wherever else kids gather.
Now for the fun -- a never-ending brainstorm! Challenge the kids to come up with "art assignments" inspired by the board. For example:
- "Draw what happens next to the dragon."
- "Sculpt a flamingo out of air drying clay."
- "Make a mobile of the dog with his friends and toys."
Think: paint, draw, sculpt, sketch, write a story, create a mobile, make a collage, eye spy, act out, photograph. Ask the kids to take turns being the art teacher by prompting them with scenes within the mural and art materials on hand. Last but not least, be sure to ask a lot of "What If?" questions!