Washington State Visual Art Standards

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Collaborative Mural



Each year the 4th grade students perform a Martin Luther King Jr. program for the entire school. They sing songs, speak poetry, and recite spoken word about our nation's civil rights history and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is a really powerful performance that moves me to tears.

Last year, I had my 4th grade students create a painted paper mural to display during their performance. But not just a single class before. They were inspired by Faith Ringgold's "Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky".  The mural received a very positive response from the kids, the staff, and the parents. I decided to do something similar this year.

I began by introducing my students to Faith Ringgold's book, "My Dream of Martin Luther King".


https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51gMAKbqMtL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

We closely examined the artwork and the students created sketches inspired by the book's illustrations. I also shared a short clip of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech.

The next class, we worked together in choosing from their sketches and the book's illustrations in creating the composition for the painted mural. We worked in small teams to create the various sections of the mural. The kids were really excited to create!

We decided to have teams for:
Martin Luther King Jr.
The Dream Speech crowd
and Text quote
another class created doves for peace signs



Each small team was responsible for these sections of the mural. I provided printed resources and laid out their supplies. It was amazing how they set out to accomplish these goals. Each student was engaged in their role and we achieved the completed mural in 2, 45 minute classes.

Upon reflection, I believe my students were engaging in most of these 21st Century skills. 

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I will continue to find ways for my students to hone these skills and create authentic art that is meaningful to them.

Thanks for stopping by!