Sonya (beanonmyhip) and I planned the art project for last Saturday’s Arts Adventures. We combined ideas, which resulted in creating large murals to serve as backdrops for a movie the classes would later perform. For the younger group, we decided on theme of “Under the Sea” and for the older group,”Wild West “. Both seemed to fit really well with the personalities in each class.
Roll of paper
Children & teenagers (with Autism)
With the help of some other Americorps, Sonya and I started prepping for class the night before by cutting long pieces of paper from the roll and painting them with a wash. We decided to make three large pieces for each class (about 3 by 7 feet). Because we had a limited amount of time, we didn’t offer the classes paint. Instead we had them draw and cut out pictures from construction paper and an assortment of other colored paper, which was painted with tempera (thanks Allyson & Trish).
In each class, we hung two sheets up on the wall and had one out on a table. On the white board we wrote out instructions and drew examples of sea animals (morning) and wild west scenery (afternoon). Both groups seemed engaged with the project- drawing images to cut out and add to the scenes as well as drawing directly on the mural.
After snack time, we taped the murals to the wall in the main activity room, lining them up side by side. Both groups did an amazing job at creating characters for themselves and getting into character for the movie.
The “Under the Sea” movie was about the 30th anniversary of King Neptune and his wife, which was nearly ruined by four evil villians. The “Wild West” movie was about an unruly bank robber who shoots everyone in a small desert town, leaving only a lonely cactus standing.
Overall, the day was incredibly successful. I highly recommend using this activity with children and teenagers both with and without Autism. It is easy to adapt the theme and visual art aspect based on the time frame and participants in the group.