Last week 7th graders read “The War of the Wall,” a story about an outsider who faces resistance from others.
In the story, an artist comes into a community to paint a mural. The painter fails to follow community norms and expectations, causing a conflict between the two. After originally being hostile towards the unfamiliar outsider, the community comes to appreciate the painter after seeing the artwork she created — a mural honoring one of the community’s own members: a Vietnam War veteran.
After reading the story, we discussed and wrote about possible themes, or lessons we learned. Next, we watched a video and discussed how artist Ernest Shaw makes an impact on his community through art.
Finally, to see how we could make a difference in our school community through art, we turned our theme statements into positive sidewalk chalk messages. They did a great job!