March 11, 2024 by oscar

In 1602 Tommasso Campanella published a utopian plan for a community in a book called The City of the Sun. He imagined concentric walls for the city–all covered with instructive murals. Anyone passing by could picture the city’s history, see stories depicted, or be inspired by the pictorial equivalent of Wikipedia. An important component of education consisted of guides taking students around the city’s wall to help them learn from pictures about the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms, even about the stars.

Today a school’s walls present an opportunity not only to recognize and display student art work but to turn a blank surface into a lesson. This can take several forms. One is to have a local artist donate a mural or wall painting, as was done with the Native American calendar shown here. Another is to redirect graffiti into conveying worthwhile content. Another is to have the art teacher organize a class mural in which each child has the opportunity to contribute in some way to the portrayal of a turning point in history or some other significant content from the curriculum.