Recently I was at Worth Primary School in Sylvester, Georgia and saw this wonderfully innovative way to integrate the arts into the outdoors. A musical staff was neatly painted on a paved walkway. The staff was large enough that several measures of music could be easily displayed. Students could use stones or sidewalk chalk to represent notes, or even stand at the appropriate place on the staff to sketch a melody.
In addition to the music staff, think about painting a map of your state including major cites and the location of the school painted on a play area. So many students (and adults!) are increasingly lacking in basic map skills and a sense of spatial orientation. The painted map of the state, region or country can foster a familiarity with maps and help students see where they live in relationship to other cities they have heard about. I think it’s helpful to always indicate where the school is located—seeing where you are makes a map seem much more relevant!
Speaking of spatial awareness, painting a compass rose on paved surfaces also helps students to orient themselves. A visual indication of north, south, east and west is a great way to teach a useful concept through incidental learning.
Copyright © 2015 by Herb Broda