Introduction: Mario Mural

Picture of Mario Mural

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

Slope

Median

Integers

Reading a Graph or Chart

Number line

You will need:

Tape

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 Thinner

Paint Accessories(Brush, Roller, Paint Pan, Drop Cloth)

Mario Decals

Large Wall(30 ft by 9 ft)

Step 1: Outline the Layout

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Math Lesson

Integers

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).

Median

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.

Slope

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.

Rise/Run

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.

Piecewise Function

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.

Comments

José Carlos Thompson (author)2015-01-14

Sirs, Congratulations. I´m a teacher and I love the Mario mural idea. Fantastic.

kiwi-makes-things2000 (author)2014-12-09

Awesome!

JackANDJude (author)2014-12-07

This is really smart. It looks good, too!

Tomsm (author)2014-12-07

Good work! :)

organgrinder (author)2014-12-07

Wonderful!!

canida (author)2014-12-03

I love it!

Can you share more about how you're using it to teach those math concepts? That might warrant an additional step or two.

CoryH (author)canida2014-12-05

Canida,

I just added the math concepts. Great Idea!

canida (author)CoryH2014-12-06

Great explanations! Thanks for sharing, I know you'll find plenty of others who can use this.

CarmelitoAndrade (author)2014-12-04

awesome !! i always wanted to do something like this ..

jlepack (author)2014-12-04

You did a fantastic job on this wall mural. I'm sure your fellow classmates will love this.

bjennings4 (author)2014-12-03

You should totally enter this into the wall overhaul contest.

CoryH (author)bjennings42014-12-04

I did. I am new to instructables so just now starting to explore around.

peppypickle (author)2014-12-03

really awesome! I love how you painted the grass! how long did this take you?

CoryH (author)peppypickle2014-12-03

6-8 hours total over two days. Oil based takes a little longer to clean up!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am a middle school math teacher in North Central Indiana. I have taught for the past 11 years. In addition to teaching middle school ... More »
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