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Innovation Awards
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Second Place

3-5 | The Arts | Real World Application or Field Study

Station WLVT in Pennsylvania

My Classroom Innovation

Students from the 5th grade Art Club at Shoemaker were lead in a discussion of various art murals that they had seen throughout the community and what steps they believed were taken to create a mural for all to see. Upon seeing that the process required the collaboration and creativity of many people from many places,we talked about what places they would like to see a mural that did not already have one displayed. Their first suggestion was the local Rave Movie Theatre. With one phone call,the students began a journey in what it meant to create a mural for the community to view! As a group we looked at a list of various movies that were coming to the theatre and talked about why, or why not a movie should be selected. One one movie was picked, the students were asked to draw a small version of what they thought the window mural should look like. With their thoughts on paper, the managers of the Rave helped select the images from the children that would find their way to the theater's windows. One Saturday morning, with the theatre closed, the students came in to paint the windows with their designs, along with the help of administration, teachers, parents, and siblings. The management was so amazed at the professionalism of the students, the work created and the thank you card they received, that they gave each student a ticket to see the movie they designed the windows for!

How Students were Engaged

From start to finish, the project not only engaged the students from a creative standpoint with mural design with size/scale, but how much collaboration must be done to have a project done right. They were extra careful of spelling, colors of characters, and took extra time to ensure that what the community would see was the best they had to offer. This personal pride of what they were doing proved to me that they understood the meaning of lesson at hand - Community murals require the collaboration of many people from many areas. I was also extremely happy of the professionalism of these 5th graders. They thanked the managers face-to-face, and sent a thank you card to the Rave Movie Theatre. Each student cleaned up what little mess they made, and even took friends to view the mural (while telling stories of how it came to be). I can tell that students took this knowledge of mural creation in the community with them because we have since been back to paint the movie theatre five times for new movies and each time the collaboration gets better!

PBS Program/Content Used

An Investigation of Public Art