Arkansas Post Office Murals P-4 Lesson Plan Brenda Gilleylen
Set/Introduction: Prior to this lesson, students will have studied one or more Post Office Murals created during Roosevelt’s New Deal Program in the 1930s. If possible, students will study a mural close to their current community. During study, students will explore the history behind the mural including preparation for the design of the mural, the town’s atmosphere, and how the local people reacted to the mural. Also, students will have learned about the techniques used to paint the mural.
Learning Objectives: After completing this unit, students will:
-Demonstrate an understanding of the function of Post Office Murals (ContentStandard 1.1.2)
-Collaborate through art experiences while planning and creating a mural (Content Standard 1.2.4)
Concepts/Skills to be Taught: Students will be taught what a mural is and how artists create murals. They will also understand the function of these murals. Students will work with classmates to draw and paint a mural on butcher paper in an area of their own school.
Vocabulary addressed: Cartoon
New Deal (Percent for art plan)
Roll of butcher paper
Over head projector (to project images onto the larger butcher paper)
Aprons or smock shirts
Grouping for instruction:
Students will work individually to create thumbnail sketches of possible murals. Students will then work as a collaborative group to pick aspects of each drawing to include. Students will work in groups of three to complete sections of the mural.
The lesson will begin with a lecture, using digital images, slides, photos, or transparencies of Post Office Murals. Students will be involved in a class discussion about possible functions of the provided murals. They will be asked questions like:
“How do you think this mural was created?”
“Why do you think the artists included this object?”
“If you lived in this town, would you be happy with this portrayal of your town?”
Students will create their own murals. First, they will create sketches of what they would want their school mural to include. Questions should be asked like, “What do we want this mural to say about our school or classroom?“ The classroom will then create a “Section” to submit those sketches for approval. Here, the students as a class will collaborate to decide which aspects of each drawing will be included. Students will then be placed in groups of three or four to transfer and complete the painting on butcher paper. After the completion of the mural, students will complete a journal entry discussing what the mural represents in their school community.
-Did students participate in class discussion and collaboration to create the mural?
-Where students successful in transferring and completing their section of the mural painting?
-Where students successful in communicating through their journal writing what the mural’s function was?