Making Our Mark

May 19, 2023

Educator: Audra Donroe, Art Teacher

Teaching Artist: Moriah Ray Britt, Interdisciplinary - Mural & Printmaking

School: Howitt Middle School, 7-8 grade students with disabilities

District: Farmingdale School District


Through artistic exploration, the SWD students at Howitt Middle School celebrated and showcased themselves as vibrant community members of the school district. They led the student body by their example, being the first to create art using gelli art printmaking process to convey their ideas. Other classes and students were invited to join in this process.

Big Idea/Guiding Question(s):

How can we unify our unique abilities and artistic expressions in one large piece of artwork (our mural project) as we analyze our learnings of freedom, diversity, and civic responsibility?

What learning goals/standards did this meet? 


National Core Art Standards: 

VA:Cr2.3.7.a - Apply visual organizational strategies to design and produce a work of art, design, or media that clearly communicates information or ideas. 

Guiding Art Theme(s): 


Applying symbolism to the students’ understanding of the formation of the United States government, they will draw from their personal cultural belief systems and point of view to visually narrate and analyze their social studies lessons. 

Social Studies 

Overall Lesson Visual & Goals: 

By the end of this lesson students should be able to 

(1) Recall the names of each branch of government 

(2) Identify what each branch is responsible for  (Focus will be on the formation of government)


Civic Experiences: Participate in developmentally appropriate civic experiences. Civic readiness should be developed in a variety of settings and ways—inside and outside of the classroom, across content areas, and for multiple purposes. Civic Readiness should be promoted by engaging students in relevant experiences that include students as active participants.


  • Students will be given the opportunity to see themselves as contributing members of the school community 
  • Historically students with disabilities miss out on opportunities to see themselves in the school - They are pulled during Encore classes such as Art, Music, and or Gym to receive OT, PT, and or Speech services. 
  • Depending on their disability or access to support, they cannot participate in after school activities such as clubs or sports. 
  • Students will be intrinsically motivated to apply their knowledge of social studies to participate in an art project that will become part of the school. 
  • Motivation will come from access to art-making as well as being tasked with the job of creating a mural. 



  • How to use a brayer to apply paint evenly 
  • How to take care of, maintain, and clean, gelli art plates 
  • How to add texture, details, and words to a monoprint artwork using found objects, stencils, and writing tools like a popsicle stick.


  • That by working together, people can achieve a common goal through “checks and balances.” This is modeled by… 
  • How to collaborate to determine how to add painted papers to drawings (while keeping the size, placement, and client, in mind) 


  • How to explain and give directions to another student, peer, and or how to guide themselves on how to create a monoprint 
  • Know and can identify different aspects of the United States government in images including buildings and symbols including, but not limited to, a judge’s gavel, presidential symbol, etc.