- Secure space for the mural, preferably in a public space with heavy foot traffic so as many people as possible can admire and interact with the work.
- Provide examples of community murals and artwork from public arts programs. If possible, take students on a “virtual tour” of murals through the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program website.
- Determine student groupings. Students can work as a whole class or be grouped by interest. For poster campaigns, students can work individually, in partnerships or in small groups.
- Introduce students to the Do Something Student Planning Guide. Instruct them in mapping the steps necessary to complete their mural or poster campaign.
- Share the sample rubric or adapt it into a checklist for students. Refer to the rubric to define expectations.
- As a class, generate mural content and messages that connect to central text themes. Murals and poster campaigns should incorporate information and positive social messages to heighten awareness and action. Positive messages may relate to acceptance, inclusion, diversity, equity or justice depending on the central text and the interests of the group.
- Students should work together to plan and create their designs.
- If possible, consult with an art instructor to design the final mural in smaller pieces. Assemble the mural or hang the posters in the designated area. Have students collaborate on written description of the piece(s) to be displayed alongside the artwork.
- Arrange a “launch” celebration to officially unveil student’s artwork. If possible, invite families, other grades and community members.
- Consider how viewers can interact with the piece. For example, a “reaction box” can be placed near the mural so people can leave comments, connections and questions for the artists.
Students can journal about how their mural or poster campaign reflected central text themes. Some suggested reflection questions include:
- What topic or theme from the central text was included in your mural or poster campaign?
- What important message did your mural or poster campaign express to your audience?
- How can a mural or poster campaign shows be a form of social action?
English language learners
A community mural (or poster campaign) gives students an assessment option that is creative, visual appealing and not solely language based. Students can express their ideas and feelings through their artwork. This task engages linguistic, interpersonal, spatial/artistic and kinesthetic learning modalities.
Connection to anti-bias education
Historically and in contemporary communities, large-scale public art has been used to increase issue visibility and advocate for social change. By creating a community mural or poster campaign, students work together to spread awareness, demonstrating a commitment to social action.