As the school year comes to a close, you and your students are likely reminiscing on the great times you’ve had together. Classroom art projects help stave off nostalgia while building new memories, and no project is more effective at this than a class mural! By depicting memorable classroom experiences, murals preserve your student’s best memories for all to see.
Classroom Art Project Objectives
The purpose of making a mural is to involve everyone in the same creative process. Sculpting, drawing, and other projects generally involve students working individually, where each student is responsible for their own work and needs no input from others. Murals, however, require all students to work together. They ensure that everyone agrees on and contributes to the final goal. Through this experience, students learn a lifelong lesson that creativity and teamwork go hand in hand.
Class Mural Supplies Needed
Making a class mural requires:
- A large mural canvas, art paper roll, or wall
- Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
- Mural paint and brushes
- Painting clothes for all students
Class Mural Instructions
For an effective, well-planned class mural, follow these steps:
1. Select a Subject
Class murals usually contain pictures of all of the students, portraying a trip or other experience they had together. Alternatively, the mural could depict a scene from a book they all read, a science principle they learned, or something else related to their studies. Have the students come up with as many ideas as possible, and then narrow the options to something everyone likes. Then develop a specific plan with them for what will be painted.
2. Look for a Location
Find somewhere in the school that is both visible to everyone and accessible to all your students. Measure the area to determine the proper amount of mural space.
3. Create a Draft
Hang up a large art paper roll in the classroom, the same size as the mural space. Have your students outline an early version of the class mural, ensuring that everyone contributes something. Once you have an outline, have the students color it in.
4. Make the Mural
Have your students put on painting clothes. They should wear clothes that can stand to get a bit messy, as well as an apron or smock. Take the draft and all necessary materials to the mural site and hang up the draft nearby. Give the students the supplies and make your class mural!
If your school doesn’t have space for a permanent mural, or if you’d like to recreate this project each year, you can instead use colored chalk to temporarily decorate a wall. This version has the advantage of not requiring painting clothes, sparing the expense of outfitting everyone. Make sure to take a picture of the mural as soon as your students are finished and send the photo to each student’s family. The class mural itself may be temporary, but the image will live on.
Another option is to paint your mural on a canvas. Though you will still need painting clothes, the benefit of this method is that you can move the mural around and hang it up in different areas of the school. Be sure to make a draft before painting the canvas; mistakes on canvas may not be as serious as mistakes on a wall, but they can lead to wasted material.
More Art Lesson Plans
Looking for inspiration to keep your students engaged through the end of the school year? If a class mural simply isn’t an option, we have some other ideas! Check out all of our art lesson plans for the perfect project to fit your classroom dynamic.