Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good ideas for school libraries: 4. Wall words

Ah, our beautiful purple wall.  First blogged about it here (including links to the original inspiration from New York, and a straight-on picture of the wall).  It's an idea that's achievable on the very limited budget of school libraries, and not impossible to do, if you have a steady hand and patience.
The words are a carefully-chosen vocabulary that expresses our philosophy of the library - a place to read, explore, grow, connect, aspire, ask...and more.  It's an overt statement about this place.  So if you're going to play with this idea in your library, think about your words.
We painted one word at a time, thinking about how they overlapped, which colour to use for each, what size, which location, long word here, short word there.  It was painted over a period of some weeks, when we had time.  If you only paint one word at at time, then one word done is one word less to do.  Besides, the kids looked to see how it was developing.  So the instant overnight option might not have been as effective (even if it had been possible, which it wasn't!). 
What you need: paint - 4 litres of good quality low sheen acrylic for the wall, folk art paints (from Spotlight - we got about a dozen different shades of purple, some of which didn't look so purple on this background, but what the hey!) for the lettering, plastic paint palettes and decent brushes for the big painting and the detail painting.  Overhead projector, transparencies and photocopier - we used chalk to outline each word for painting.  A font (we are using the same one as our 'library font' for consistency, for wall lettering, signage, library documents etc).

1 comment:

Julie Walter said...

Wow. what a fabulous idea. I have used "wordle" quite a bit with my classes so that could be used as a design source. I love the book marks too, especially using old books.
Thank you.