Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Large roll of paper, and tape
- Pencils, markers, and/or paints, paintbrushes and small cups
- Optional: Information about ecosystem the mural will portray
Preparation for Activity
- Identify a large, flat work surface to accommodate work on your mural. Tables pushed together are probably most comfortable. A clean, uncarpeted stretch of floor can work as well. Or, obtain permission to create the mural directly on a wall.
- Identify a wall where the completed mural can be displayed.
- Mix paints if necessary. Distribute paint in cups to give all participants easy access.
- Unroll paper and tape corners down to secure the mural during painting.
Description of Activity
Tell the children they will create a mural of an ecosystem. Ask for a definition of an ecosystem. Affirm that the mural will portray the different plants and animals that together form the interdependent web of a particular place.
Tell the group about the ecosystem they will portray. You may wish to have the children depict the meadow they experienced in Activity 5, the guided meditation. Or, allow the group to choose (by vote or consensus) an ecosystem to depict, such as your local ecosystem, a rain forest, a coral reef or a riverbank. Encourage children to depict plants and bugs as well as birds and mammals. Suggest they sketch the mural in pencil before using paint or markers.
If you like, indicate pictures and information you have brought to help children choose subjects to draw or paint. As the children work, guide them with questions about the relationships between various plants and animals in the ecosystem. Who eats what? Who uses what for shelter? Who helps other things to grow? When the mural is complete, you or the children may wish to visually indicate these connections with lightly penciled dotted lines.
Including All Participants
Whether you are using a wall, table or floor, make sure the mural paper and art supplies are accessible to all participants.