Step 1: How to use project journals
Teachers need to allow time for journal entries (10 minutes for each drawing during a field trip or in-class history lesson). Students should have a minimum of three entries per field trip or in-class session.
How to use the project journal:
- Use pencil.
- Use journals for all project activities.
- Encourage both drawing and writing and give sufficient quiet time for drawing during field trips and in class.
- Label entries with date, location, and interviewee’s name.
- “Sloppy copy” = okay
- Teachers keep journals too!
Step 2: Deciding the mural composition
- Classroom teachers work with a teaching artist on composing and creating a mural.
- Classroom teachers work with the art teacher on composing and creating a mural.
- Classroom teachers work with their students on deciding the mural composition.
- The mural can be permanent or temporary, located in the classroom or a public place within the school.
Classroom Teacher Led Mural Project
At the conclusion of the research unit, the classroom teacher holds a brainstorming session with the class.
The teacher assigns students to small groups where they will sit. Each group is given a topic to report on to the class. The teacher asks each student to look through their journals for ideas on what is important to share about the field trips and in-class learning during the unit. The classroom teacher writes down all the ideas that are generated by the students on each specific topic.
Journals are then collected and stored so the classroom teacher can gather the images that were collectively decided upon to use for the mural.
Teaching Artist Led Mural Project
At the conclusion of the research unit, the teaching artist collects the journals and creates a layout for the mural that uses a selection of the drawings and text from the student journals. The mural is designed to fit the dimensions of an agreed upon permanent location and is composed of 3–5 panels of collaged drawing and text with a separate title panel.
The teaching artist visits the classroom and presents the proposed mural idea. Classroom teachers and students have an opportunity to respond and provide feedback to the teaching artist. The teaching artist takes notes on the feedback provided and makes revisions based upon the feedback. She/he then sends the final layout to the classroom teachers and principal for approval.
Teaching Tip: Along the way, the teacher can ask certain students to either further develop one of their drawings or create a new drawing on a topic that is needed for the mural.