America the Beautiful Mural...the beginning

I’m in the planning stage of this year’s ceramic tile mural. A few weeks ago, a few 6th graders suggested that the mural theme have something to do with the United States. I was thinking that we might do a mural on Ancient Aztecs but after researching images, I decided that there wasn’t enough variety to sustain a mural. So I put some thought into the American mural idea and came up with the theme America the Beautiful Landmarks. I think it might be the best one yet.


There are many ways in which to design a mural but I tend to stick to a basic graph style layout. I talk about different styles in my Ceramic Mural PDF. This year, the mural will be collaborative, meaning that each child will be a part of a larger group focusing on a certain landmark. I designed the overall theme with general ideas and gathered enough visuals for the kids to draw from.  The two 6th grade classes are divided into groups of 4-6 kids. Each group will receive a landmark. Then, together they will decide how the landmark will look on the paper graph.

In two weeks, I will cut hundreds of clay tiles and the groups will turn their flat paper drawings into 3-D tiles. I can’t wait!

Here are some posts on previous murals….

Ancient Greece 2012

California Marine Life 2011

Nautical Mural 2010

The mural will be finished by the end of the school year.  I will post about the progress, so stay tuned…


  1. paula rodgers says:

    So glad to see that you are doing America the Beautiful! Our little art school is just finishing a year of looking at all things America…and it’s been amazing! We sometimes take our country for granted but this has been a way to celebrate some of the wonderfully unique things that are a part of being in the USA. We used several of your art plans. I hope to get the pictures together to send you…such fun! Can’t wait to see your mural I know it will be fantastic.

  2. R5bales says:

    Where do these murals go? Is there a permanent wall your murals go on or do you have a temporary wall?

  3. Jen says:

    I really want to know more about this whole process. Think you could do a post about it? I’d be very interested in trying something like this out.

    • Patty Palmer says:

      Hi Jen,
      The process is quite detailed so I created a PDF that you can purchase that explains everything. I began these murals not knowing a thing about ceramics, so I’ve learned alot throughout the years. You should definitely try a mural. They are so amazing for the kids.

  4. Istin says:

    Your class is lucky! In my art class, my teacher made us take handwritten notes off a 25 paged PowerPoint and do handwritten essays and book work. I’m still working on my handwritten essay, it’s due tomorrow. It has to be about my favorite artist, who inspired that artist, what movement was that artist in, describe the movement, tell about that artist’s struggles, describe their most famous artwork, what tools were used, what tool were they most known for, I forgot the rest. I wish my class was this fun.

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About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

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