In April while our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students were testing, I was out of my room in the mornings while they used it for small group testing. The first Tuesday I was out of my room, I had only 15 minutes to prep before my first class... What was I going to do? There wasn't enough time to get everything together that I needed for the 4th graders new lesson.... I remembered seeing a blog post by Organized Chaos for some great collaborative murals she had just completed with her classes. She saw the idea on Pinterest and mentioned that the lesson originated from a post on Experiments in Art.
So... I grabbed 5 large table size pieces of bulletin board paper and started filling 12 cups with black paint. I then laid each piece on top of the art tables and explained to the students that they were to start by painting circles or squares. Once they had begun to fill the paper up I stopped them and had them connect all the shapes with any kind of line, straight, zig-zag, wavy, etc... We let them dry over night.
The following day of classes I had each mural laid out on a table. Pouring and mixing 40 different colors, each student chose one color which became their color for the whole class. They began painting in the shapes and spaces. After 5-7 minutes, I had them switch tables until everyone painted on each mural with their chosen color. We continued to do this for each fourth grade class (I have 6 classes of them) until the murals were completely painted. One day we worked on them in the hallway, as I didn't have room on the tables (we were finishing up another project) and everyone who walked by commented on how stunning they looked! The kids are really proud of their group effort! I am saving them to hang up at the beginning of the new school year.
I had them drying in the room clipped to the front of my shelves at the end of the day.
Close-ups of some of the murals.
This one is hanging outside the art room door.
Another one is outside the school office.