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Once Upon A Time Three – Ceiling Tile Murals

This is the third in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. The first post in the series can be found here and the second here.

During the two years we ran exploratory blocks from 2006/7 and 2007/8 along with regular specials. During this time I offered a class called Leave Your Mark in which we painted murals on the walls around the school. Eventually we used most of the available walls and ended up painting ceiling tiles instead. These ceiling tiles were designed and painted by 7th grade students to place in the 7th grade hallway. When considering the subject matter for the walls, someone came up with the idea of “things falling from the sky”. As with the other projects, students worked in groups or pairs to design an idea for a tile. Once approved, they got to work painting the tiles in the art room for later installation in the hallway. This is a great way to make your mark in an easy, controlled way, all within the confines of the art room.


Students had a fun time considering logical and completely illogical scenarios of “things falling from the sky” including pigs (when pigs fly), and Batman, school bus, giraffe, clown, monkey, candy, pizza, balloons, blimp, space station, ufo, angels, palm tree with coconuts, fish, skydiver, etc. Here are some photos of the ceiling tiles:

When the school was painted and tiles replaced a few years ago, we were able to salvage the ceiling tiles, and they now reside in the art room. We like them there.

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