Sunday, October 4, 2015

Star Wars Sticky Note Mosaic Murals

We celebrated Star Wars at my library this weekend. It was my first time being immediately involved in a big Star Wars program since my spring break programs in my former job, and while my current library has celebrated Star Wars for a few years now, the goal is to always add some new elements to the festivities. Of course we had some of the expected: trivia; a light saber craft; and a seek-and-find scavenger hunt. We also repeated using the green screen in our youth Digital Media Lab to take family photos and insert them into Star Wars backgrounds.

What was totally new this year, however, was the main activity taking place in the BOOMbox, our STEAM space: Sticky Note Mosaic Murals.

My colleague Amy Holcomb, who runs the BOOMbox, emailed me a few weeks back with a news article about a paper company, Viking Direct, that created such murals on their office walls. I looked at those pictures (and looked harder), and from there I created a 25-by-25 sticky note grid template in Excel, on which I designed Darth Vader and Yoda images. The individual grid templates are pictured below if you're interested.



To make this activity work, one of my program assistants broke each 25-by-25 mural into 5-by-5 squares; these squares each had a designated spot on a grid, allowing a child/teen to take one grid square "map," gather their requisite sticky notes, and place their sticky note mosaic squares into the proper section of the full grid, which was measured out with string and tape on the glass BOOMbox windows. We had a grid on one window for the Light Side of the Force, and another on the opposite window for the Dark Side. The grid square "maps" are linked here if you'd like to use them to do this collaborative mosaic wall activity yourself (Light Side link; Dark Side link).

To create both the Vader and Yoda mosaic murals, you will need:
  • 7.5'x7.5' wall or window space for EACH mural
  • string, tape, and a measuring device to mark out your full grid, as well as paper or sticky notes to label the rows and columns (picture of the grid set-up below)
  • Sticky notes for Yoda: 295 blue; 219 green; 54 yellow; 34 orange; 16 gray; 7 black
  • Sticky notes for Vader: 304 black; 243 blue; 78 gray

As kids and teens came into the BOOMbox for the activity, they could choose if they wanted to help with the Light Side or the Dark Side. From there, we gave them a grid square map that would be within their reach--that is, lower squares for shorter, younger kids, and higher squares for taller teens. We were able to help explain the map-to-wall process as needed, but most kids jumped into the activity with a decent understanding of how to read their maps and add to the wall.

Our Vader mosaic mural in progress.
Note: because of the height at which our windows begin, I chopped the bottom row off of both grids for our particular activity. Were we to repeat this activity on a bare wall, however, I'd start with the bottom of the grid touching the carpet and build up from there. I just didn't want the grid to get too high for our activity--no ladders allowed.

Kids really liked this activity, and their caregivers got pretty excited about it, too. It was great fun to overhear conversations about what kids thought the murals would be while they were in early stages--each mural got pieced together one square at a time, making it a cool puzzle to solve.

Once our mosaic murals were completed, kids were welcome to come in the space to admire them and to create origami Yodas under the gaze of sticky note Yoda himself. Quite a fun way to weave our current BOOMbox theme--textiles--into our larger Star Wars Extravaganza!

Have you done any of these cool sticky note murals before? Care to share your plans?


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