This is a Mario Brothers Mural I made for my 8th Grade math class. The goal was to create an interesting display that was of high interest to the students but also serves as a teaching tool for various concepts. The end result was turning what was once a blank white wall into and great display and continuous classroom lesson. The classroom project cost just over one hundred dollars, with most of the cost going towards the Mario Decals.
The wall is used to teach
Reading a Graph or Chart
You will need:
Paint-Blue,Green, White, Yellow(oiled based paint was necessary as I was painting a wall that had been painted many times prior with oil based paint)
Paint Accessories(Brush, Roller, Paint Pan, Drop Cloth)
Large Wall(30 ft by 9 ft)
Step 1: Outline the layout
I took measurements and create a scaled version on paper, so I had a plan when I started to paint the wall.
Things to consider:
Spacing of characters
Seams at where the brick meet
How can you create movement?
How can you create depth?
Once I taped down the outline that separates the ground from the sky, I had to paint the grooves because of the texture of the brick wall.
Painting from the top of the mural to the bottom helps minimize unwanted crossing of colors and paint.
Step 2: Sky and Ground
This part is relatively simple has you just are rolling paint onto the wall. It is large wall approximately 30 ft by 9 ft, so it take some time but all things consider not to bad.
I edge the green line over the blue line, as green is darker than blue. I freehand the straight line and it came out very straight. One strategy is to hold your breath when trying to painting a straight line.
Step 3: Clouds and Patterns
For the grass area I tried to create something similar to the most recent version of Mario Brothers. Most scences have a triangle pattern along the bottom to represent the ground. Using a little white paint and blue paint I create a softer shade of green. Then I painted a small line with points. I made sure to make sure my points were large and space out. From there I create a second line than ran parallel to the first line.
For the clouds I used small amounts of white paint in a swirling pattern.
Things to consider:
Odd number of items are good in a painting. There are five clouds
Where are the decals going? Try to create depth with the decals
Size and softness of the cloud. Smaller softer clouds give the illusion of depth
Step 4: Characters
On of the best parts of the design, was I was able to paint over the old intercom speaker cover. My design was built around the idea that the speaker cover would be a mystery box.
I place the speaker cover back on and started placing the decals in their appropriate location. A extra set of eyes is suggested as the mural is large and its nice for someone else to help you level the decals and space them accordingly to your design.
I completed this project over a two week break and the student were very impressed.
All things considered it took 6-8 hours over 2 days to make this Mario Brothers wall.
Step 5: Math Lesson
This idea is show the difference between positive and negative numbers. Subtracting of Integers typically use altitude questions and so the design serves as a number line to show the distance between Positve 5 and Negative 2 is a total of 7 units(bricks).
Finding the middle number of a set of data points depends on whether there is a odd or even amount of data points. The red bricks serve as a good example of how the middle can be an actual data point or in between two data points. This is also used in determining the upper and lower quartiles of a data set.
The layout emphasis how we tend to read a line or graph from left to right. It also helps distinguish the difference between zero and undefined slope.
The bricks used to actually make the wall serve as a nice grid. Although the bricks are not necessarily square, it still allows for us to count the horizontal change and vertical change. The ground is intentionally two different slopes(steepness) so we can demonstrate how slope is a ratio or rate that can be identified by its steepness and calculated on a graph or using data.
A little bit higher level thinking than a 8th grade might typically do, but a piecewise function are functions, in this case linear functions, that have limits. These limits allow for a range of values but with restrictions. Piecewise "steps" function are spots where the graph might jump up(green pipe), these are seen in the real world where we have a range but then jump from one section to another. A good example of that would be tax brackets.