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Schoolwide Initiative

Reclaimed Plastic Mural

Plastic Bottle Mural

Enduring understandings

  • 5.1 CR Experiment with various ideas to address contemporary issues

  • 5.2 CR Investigate ideas and inform artmaking through available resources

  • 5.3 CR Select and use the elements of art and principles of design to investigate interdisciplinary concepts

  • 5.2 PE Develop technical skills to strengthen artmaking

  • 5.3 PE Communicate an interdisciplinary concept using the elements of art and principals of design

  • 5.1 RE Use established criteria to assess works of art individually and collaboratively

  • 5.3 RE Evaluate the relationship between works of art and human experiences

  • 5.1 CO Investigate works of art and the social and cultural contexts that shaped their creation

  • 5.2 CO Recognize that art is a tool for advocacy and change

  • 5.3 CO Evoke emotional responses for a desired outcome through works of art

Essential questions

  • Can art communicate a message?

  • Can art be a tool for activism?

  • Can art inspire climate consciousness?

  • Can trash become tools and materials for artmaking?

  • Can artists be environmentally conscious in their art practice?

  • Can art be a community building activity?

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Lesson 1
Environmental activism through art – What is activist art?

As a class, we will investigate how artists throughout the world use their artistic voice to bring awareness on the need to protect and preserve the planet, make conscious the ways we are destroying it, or are intentionally using sustainable processes within their art practice.


Lesson 2
Communicate your message –
Environmental activist posters

Now that the students understand that art can be used to communicate messages and as a tool for activism, we will learn how to communicate our own environmental messages around Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.


Lesson 3
Creating a lasting impression – Plastic Bottle Cap Mural

Now that the students understand what activist art is, have researched ways to be more environmentally conscious, and understand how to effectively communicate a message in a creative way, we will create a piece of environmental activism art as a community — a plastic bottle cap mural.

Unit resources include a Google slide presentation, artwork information for environmental activism art reflection, poster teacher sample, bottle cap mural process information, and all rubrics and reflection prompts.


Earth Day Celebration

Since a school mural is our final project, and this unit is about activism through art, we can have a schoolwide and community Earth Day Celebration where the students can talk about what they learned and present the artwork.

science class

This would be a good unit to partner with science class with an environmental unit. Could also become a way to introduce or request more environmental practices within the school building overall.

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