As one of the final projects for my science unit on fish I thought it would be fun to work as a cooperative group to create a large hallway mural. I invited the other sixth grade class on my wing to join mine (for a total of 42 students) in a shared art lesson.
After watching a short video from Arts Attack's fifth grade program I gave students the drawing aids provided in the Arts Attacks resource manual along with paper and paints.They each had to draw at least three fish. I encouraged them to choose a variety of different sizes and types.
A few days later — once the students had all of their fish drawn, painted and cut out — we drew and painted an underwater scene on a large sheet of paper that I hung in the hallway. The students had a lot of fun and were happy to hear many positive comments as kids from the other classes walked by. For the final step, everyone glued their fish on the mural.
The idea behind a cooperative group lesson like this is students learn that together they can create something wonderful that no one person could create on their own.