How should we represent stewardship in a mural?

FriendsPanelBelow is a letter that Galen McNemar Hamann, MB’s Director of Friends Education and Service Learning, recently sent out to the community of Friends, as part of a collaboration with a middle school visual arts class. Those invited were asked to offer a brief description of the stewardship testimony, the ways in which they try to live this testimony, and to answer questions from the students. Stay tuned for more on this project as instructor Cathy Van Lanker’s eighth grade students progress on their mural project.

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For the last four years the 8th grade class has designed a collaborative ceramic mural to represent one of Friends’ Testimonies. These four murals now hang in our middle school to offer us a daily reminder of Friends’ Testimonies and how we might live our lives as a community. Cathy Van Lanker uses this unit to teach both art and Friends education. The testimony that the students will represent in 2014 is stewardship.

This year we are designing it as a project-based learning unit as well.  Our driving questions are What are the essential elements of the testimony of stewardship? How do we convey the testimony of stewardship to others through a ceramic wall mural? How do we use the mural to deepen individual and community understanding of the testimony? How is each student represented in one mural?

Part of the PBL model is incorporating student’s inquiry into the process. We hoped by hosting a panel discussion of experts — Friends and MB sustainability committee members — the students would be able to hear directly about the testimony of stewardship in the life of Friends and our school.

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