Using art for understanding, Humanities paints murals

Neha Ramachandran, Staff Reporter

The prospect of literary analysis might invoke thoughts of sitting students around the classroom reading books and vigorously taking notes. In GT humanities however, freshmen explore topics of symbolism, theme and character development in their respective books through murals.  

“I think this project helps students engage with literature in a meaningful way and to express themselves in different modes,” humanities teacher Sarah Wiseman said. 

Having been inspired by Mexican mural art, and aiming to engage her students in a fun and interactive manner, Wiseman came up with the idea for this project. 

“We decided to do a mural project because it is a way to process literary analysis that is more fun and interactive than just continuously writing practice paragraphs,” Wiseman said. “It also connects to humanities because one of the most prominent artistic movements of the 20th is the Mexican movement and since both books are Mexican-American, we thought that was an interesting cultural connection.”

Freshman Shriya Satish feels the project enhanced her understanding of the text.  

“Figuring out what to put on the mural required me to think about the reason the author put that there and how it contributed to the character development and I was also able to take into consideration what the symbol truly meant in a deeper context,” Satish said. “This furthered my need for in depth understanding and comprehension of the symbols allowing for greater connections to the literary piece and increased the level of comprehension of the true author’s message.”

Some students, such as freshman Amanda Oh, felt the project also served as a valuable opportunity to use creativity.

“This project gave me a lot of time to reflect on the book and also show my more artistic side,” Oh said. “Our teacher mentioned how symhbols really help us remember what we read beforehand and I think this project was a great example of that”