Making a mural is a method of hands-on storytelling, through which students can combine the details of the story or biblical book they are studying, with midrashim on the text, and also add their own interpretation. This is an excellent mode of learning for kinetic learners, and the teacher enhances the learning by encouraging students to articulate what they are doing and why as they construct the mural. Moreover, making a mural provides an opportunity for students to work together on a project that is much larger and more involved than any one of them is likely to be able to complete alone.

I have found that murals are most successful when I prepare the framework -- conceptually and graphically -- in advance. It is often too difficult to start "from scratch" and students will expend too much time getting started. Therefore, I work out the basics in advance and prepare the materials to be used, providing a variety of materials that will appeal to different children.

Below is mural illustrating the Book of Jonah made by a fourth-grade class. Over the course of a month, the children read and studied the Book of Jonah (verse by verse) in class, wrote their own commentaries, and then spent time working on the mural.

In the case of the mural above, I planned the space in advance, determining the proportion of "sea" and "land" and pasting the water and land to the background. I also prepared the two large fish (one to swallow Jonah and one to spit him up onto land), and the two ships. The students added the masts, sails, clouds, lightning, buildings, people, and all the other details.

When the written commentaries and mural were completed, the students made a presentation to their parents. Their verbal explanation of the mural served as their midrash on the Book of Jonah.