Hold the phones...
Have you tried collaborative posters with your class, lunch bunch or small counseling group yet?
Collaborative murals are a phenomenally engaging activity to support social emotional learning, so let's dive in and see why you should be using them in your program!
Whether it's the triumph your family has felt after fumbling your way through inexplicably vague Ikea furniture instructions manual, or the rush of adrenaline that surged after your staff meeting group won the highest marshmallow-toothpick structure challenge- you aren't a stranger to the rewards that come with good old wholesome collaboration. Using the floor map, students will not only color to create, but work alongside one another to piece together the puzzle of squares at the end. The pure joy they feel as they walk by their masterpiece in the hallway or bulletin board, is unparalleled and directly supports growth mindset, self-esteem and positive relationship-building skills.
There are now even murals to support gratitude, as students can work together to create a giant thank you card to show support for teacher appreciation week or anytime staff morale shout-outs. Invite them to add sticky notes to discuss what they love most about their teachers or counselors.
The print-and-go structure of printable mural collaboration makes it one of the simplest/ lowest prep activities for your kids, which will yield some of the biggest impact. I suggest having these 36 coloring sheets on hand for any of the following occasions: for early finishers, during Lunch Bunch (these would be particularly great for a self-esteem group). Not to mention how impactful it would be to work on a poster with learning buddies or reading buddies in preparation for a spirit day (Pink Shirt Day, International SEL Day, World Kindness Day, World Mental Health Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, etc.) or as a way to bond as a back to school icebreaker (that isn't lame like the ones that we reluctantly participated in growing up).
Coloring is incredibly beneficial to the physical development of our students, and has healing properties to support the mind. While a coloring page mural would be a great addition to calming corners, it is especially effective to promote mindfulness during morning entry or dismissal. It's also the least intimidating way to get grounded through a meditative moment which supports healthy coping skills.
The positive messages that your students or counseling groups will create will never go out of style. Each positive message helps you blend social emotional learning seamlessly into your programs, and the visual on your bulletin board or in your school hallway will have an ongoing impact on morale and community which is priceless.
It can be difficult to create engaging activities that require little to no instruction. When you hand out printables for a mural, you can take a quick glance at the differing patterns to see which are best suited for children of varying fine motor skills, or simply let them pick their coloring sheet for themselves to suit their confidence level. When it comes time to cutting, there is one large square which alleviates anxiety that may arise when it comes to smaller, more precise pieces in Kindergarten and first grade.
Ready to try collaborative art projects with your group, but not sure where to start? Click the image below to access all future collaborative murals before the price increases with each addition.
What message would you like to see on the next collaborative mural?
Let me know in the comments!