Last year, the “Mural Team,” the afterschool club in its second year at Mann Elementary, was looking for its next project. In the first year of the club, they painted a mural in the auditorium and were excited for their next project. The fourth graders met weekly to discuss ideas, location and theme.
The first two weeks of the club, the Mural Team chose the ideal location; a wall by the front door that would transform a previously drab space into one that is bright and inviting to welcome visitors into their school.
They sketched ideas for the design and voted on a concept. Their art teacher, Ms. Weiss, took elements of everyone’s sketches and incorporated them into the final design. Since it was a collaborative process that combined everyone’s ideas together, the students readily agreed to the final design. In the next couple of months, the fourth graders learned all the steps of the mural process, from design to the grid enlargement technique, to image transfer and color theory.
The main focus, though, was team work and the responsibility of representing the whole school on that one wall. It was quite a heavy lift for fourth graders. However, they, as Mastery students usually do, rose to the challenge. “The Learning Tree” mural, because all the leaves of the plant represent Mann’s subjects and core values, is absolutely beautiful! Upon entering Mastery Mann Elementary School, one is now welcomed by a vibrant mural that immediately conveys joy and energy, a perfect metaphor for Mann Elementary!