Murals as storytellers.In times before most people could read or write, pictures were used to tell stories and to teach people. Visual storytelling Storytelling
semi-legendary fabulist of ancient Greece. [Gk. Lit.: Harvey, 10]
Baron traveler grossly embellishes his experiences. [Ger. Lit. is most often seen in the form of drawing, painting, collage, printmaking printmaking
Art form consisting of the production of images, usually on paper but occasionally on fabric, parchment, plastic, or other support, by various techniques of multiplication, under the direct supervision of or by the hand of the artist. , quilts, stained-glass windows Noun 1. stained-glass window - a window made of stained glass
window - a framework of wood or metal that contains a glass windowpane and is built into a wall or roof to admit light or air , and murals. The concept of visual storytelling can be traced as far back as 20,000 years ago when cave dwellers communicated ideas by painting images on cave walls.
Stories on Walls
The after-school art club had a mission to tell a chronological story of historical events. Before the project began, students needed to research fundamental background information about murals. I presented a slide chronology of cave painters; Egyptian tomb paintings; Greek murals/the Mexican mural artist, Diego Rivera; and works by Thomas Hart Thomas Hart or Tom Hart may refer to:
Integrating the Curriculum
A major goal of the project was to create a mural that would make deliberate connections between the visual arts visual arts npl → artes fpl plásticas
visual arts npl → arts mpl plastiques
visual arts npl → and other disciplines. By integrating, math students learned proportion, scale, and measurement through enlarging, reducing, and rearranging. Language arts language arts
The subjects, including reading, spelling, and composition, aimed at developing reading and writing skills, usually taught in elementary and secondary school. connected their interpretations of ideas orally and through reflective writing exercises. Students used historical inquiry when researching how people and events from the past influence later generations. Experimenting with color theories This article is about the musical alter ego of Brian Hazard; for the theory of color, see color theory
Color Theory is the musical alter ego of American singer-keyboardist-songwriter Brian Hazard. became another interesting challenge integrating art and science.
Students become leaders and educate their peers in art, language arts, mathematics, and social studies skills.
In art, students learned how to use negative and positive shapes effectively and how to define shapes within the mural. Students increased their knowledge of the art elements and how to organize them through the principles of unity, balance, and composition.
Researching the Mural
Since American history became the school-wide theme, it was decided that our murals would portray chronological events in history from the colonial period Colonial Period may generally refer to any period in a country's history when it was subject to administration by a colonial power.
Painting executed in the medium of acrylic resins—synthetic resins that dry rapidly, are water-soluble, and serve as a vehicle for any pigment. Its effects may range from the transparent brilliance of watercolour to the density of oil paint. as they developed their visual expression through this mural-making experience.
Next, students developed preliminary sketches. These sketches would later be enlarged on the school walls of the stairwells using mathematics skills such as dimension, proportion, scale, volume, and measurement. Students also learned concepts of color-mixing, composition, and how to use negative and positive spaces effectively. The class periodically recorded reflections of this process in journals which later became an effective assessment strategy. Students were asked to complete an evaluation form in order to assess if we had met our goals. Students were also given questionnaires to determine what they learned.
In observing students, I have seen how they become leaders and educate their peers in art, language arts, mathematics, and social studies skills. Students collaborated and learned through the joint planning and implementation of a mural. Students considered the viewpoints of their peers as they shared beliefs and talents. Cooperative learning cooperative learning Education theory A student-centered teaching strategy in which heterogeneous groups of students work to achieve a common academic goal–eg, completing a case study or a evaluating a QC problem. See Problem-based learning, Socratic method. resulted in students becoming stronger individuals that have higher levels of self-esteem, confidence, and social skills.
The implementation and completion of a thematic unit in an integrated curriculum was a success. Learning across disciplines opened doors to an exciting experience. This was best exemplified by one fifth grader when she remarked, "When I want to remember the story of the Civil War, I'll just take a walk on the third floor." Students believed that through all the research, they could only interpret the past and imagine how it could be, but their aim was to bring history alive through murals.
Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.
Laura Fradella is an art teacher at P.S. 87 Queens in Middle Village, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . The author wishes to thank Dr. Rikki Asher, Queens College Queens College: see New York, City Univ. of. at CUNY CUNY City University of New York for her guidance, and Mr. Josh Sternberg for taking the photographs.