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Making School Memories: Paint the Walls!

Type: All  |  Category: Making School Memories  |  Date: 12th February 2018

This isn’t your average maintenance job! Time to get creative this month with a brilliant lesson idea that doubles up as brilliant yearbook content – what more could you want?

Lesson plans, ideas and free resources for making school memories at your school by getting your class of children to paint the walls

Making School Memories is designed to do exactly what its title suggests – provide you with wonderful ideas that will make children remember their time at school fondly. Leavers’ Books will take a look at unique and fun ideas that can turn your classroom upside down, strip away the bland and mundane lesson plans and rally make education an experience.

Let’s jump right in to it: you have a blank wall staring you right in the face, and you’re tired of looking at it… What do you do? Another lick of paint in a brighter colour just won’t cut it nowadays. How will that visually stimulate and excite your students? It won’t. Unless you pay through the nose for a local artist to create something magical, you’re going to be stuck with something that doesn’t hit the nail on the head.

The best way around it? Get your final year students to leave their mark at your school – and paint the walls! You could’ve probably told this is the route we were going down with the title of this blog, but, you know.

Benefits of Students Involvement in the Project

It’s utilising an art lesson if nothing else; bringing in elements of drawing, exhibition and painting, it also is a brilliant venture for children to work as a team to complete a project from planning to the final piece. A collaboration project in painting a mural allows students to express themselves within the context of a larger piece, and simultaneously, they can learn and witness firsthand the effect a mural can make on its surroundings.

Your students will take an interest in the creation of ‘jazzing up the wall’ if they have a vested interest or respect for the public space they are painting on. Be sure they’re involved and at the heart of it!

Example of a school class children students enjoying a paint the walls experience

Ideas for Painting Your Walls

So it doesn’t just have to be one big splash of colour. Get inventive with what your mural will be. Will it be a tribute to something local? Or a painting depicting a specific event? Here are some ideas that are a little bit ‘out there’:

  • Hand prints to make up a series of leafs for a tree
  • Hand prints that form two big wings (perfect for photos)
  • Hand prints or name that form musical notes, along a line of bars; ‘each of us a single note, together we create a masterpiece’

For more ideas, Pinterest has a plethora of ideas and is a brilliant place to start for inspiration.

But for a good series of lesson plans, we found this blog post by Haring Kids that breaks down the project into five manageable classes, where you dissect each element of the mural creating process. Similiarly, if your class is a little older, Teaching English have created a free lesson plan which also looks at the impacts and impressions graffiti and vandalism give – which could lead to interesting debates between classmates.

Outlines to a Yearbook Idea

So the students created this wonderful piece and you took photos documenting the process and even put a big picture of the final project in your yearbook. That’s great content, right? Yes, it is, but did you think that maybe, just maybe, you wanted to have something a little bit more personal? What directly would impact and represent the children of your class – how will their specific legacy be remembered?

Their silhouettes.

You could consider going wild with that blank space and painting your students' silhouettes – be them filled in our just the outlines, it truly puts them at the focus of the mural. You can add a bit of extra fun by comparing heights, allowing them to sign off their silhouette or have them design the insides with whatever pattern they can concoct. Perhaps each one will simply have one character trait associated with that individual? You have a lot of options to play with.

Waterworks – the Good Kind

Don’t want this year’s cohort to be that permanent? Add their silhouettes to the wall with water! The best bit, you get to soak your pupils! Of course, it helps if it’s warm and sunny out to really see the difference (but you’ll have to act quickly to take your photo!), and there won’t be any sniffles afterwards!

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