Great Mini-Grant Programs

Ezra Jack Keats Philly Style

Maryann Milewski-Moskal, Teacher
Penn Alexander School
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Great programs often blur the lines between academics and life experience to build something new. For three second-grade classes, two sources of inspiration—the vibrant outdoor mural art in their own community and the books of Ezra Jack Keats—led to a cross-discipline project that could not fail to produce a spectacular work of art.

First came the study of murals on nearby buildings, then a Keats author study that focused on the characters’ teamwork and the artist’s style. Led by an artist-in-residence, the students sketched, measured, painted and collaged their own city scenes. These colorful mini-murals were assembled into a massive mural, installed in the school atrium. At the end of the term, the children took home their pictures, while copies were bound and put on permanent display in the library. In a well-designed program, everyone wins.