Friday, October 11, 2013

Collaborative [Kind of] Murals

Fourth grade is continuing their regional artists unit with a Thomas Hart Benton project: collaborative murals. I like mural projects except for that little who-gets-to-keep-it at the end piece.  Always a sticking point if you have multiple kids working on one piece of artwork. And Thomas Hart Benton is known for his murals, so what's an art teacher to do? This is what I came up with:

Students learn all about Thomas Hart Benton, a Missouri artist who's father was a US Congressman.  They take notes in their sketchbooks about him, George Caleb Bingham and Grant Wood:

They then make a plan with other people at their table.  They have to talk it over and AGREE about what sort of mural they're going to make (not always an easy task for fourth graders).  They can really do any school-appropriate thing, but I encourage them to make one where people are doing something (playing a game, at an amusement park, on the playground, etc).  Each person has to draw a person on their paper, and their backgrounds have to match up.  Here's are some examples of plans:

This table only has two students, so the two end parts are just extra background
'that they wanted to do if they had time.
Pillow fight at a slumber party.

The papers they used this year are 9"x 24", but I've done larger (which I liked better, but took sooooo much longer).  Students drew with pencil, colored with crayon and/or colored pencil.

View of the princess mural separated.

Princess mural pushed together (how it will be displayed).

Slumber party mural separated (how they drew it).

Slumber party mural pushed together.
I like this project because it is group work with an individual component, but they're still dependent on everyone doing their part.  And they look fabulous in the hall!

Halloween girls--the background doesn't really match up as much as it should.

Not really sure WHAT this is, but I love how the middle
"hump day" guy laps into either side.

Flying mustache girls (it means something really cool to them).

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