Spreading Positivity, One Sticky Note at a Time

I suppose the best description of this would be a guerilla art project, but however you might describe it, it started with a goal to spread positivity throughout our school. The original idea came from one of my students who had spent some time writing various positive messages on sticky notes.
 
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We decided to take that idea and run with it. Everyone in class who wanted to participate was given a pad of sticky notes that he or she filled with drawings and positive messages. Some were quotes, some were compliments, and some were messages of inspiration.
 
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When we were finished, there were close to 2,000 sticky notes. At the end of first period, we covered the school with messages on lockers, doors, walls and windows, and then began to hand them out to people face-to-face. Students and teachers alike loved the messages.
 
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Call it performance art, call it guerilla art, call it sticky note graffiti, but in any case, I think we can say this project was a success.
 
So, how can this idea be used to spread positivity at your own school? Here are a few ideas.

Sticky Note Mural
You’ve probably seen this before–there are a ton of ideas for sticky note murals, and Ian Sands has done a few as well. A mural can be done by dividing sticky notes by color, or it can be done with value changes and drawings. A little bit of planning can go a long way in creating a really cool sticky note mural–and if it’s filled with positive messages, so much the better!

Get Specific with Your Positivity
There may be certain individuals in your school that need a little (or big) dose of positivity. Direct your drawings and notes toward those people, and make them specific to their situations or their personalities. Cover their desks, or a wall in their classrooms. Show them you care.

Spread Positivity into the Community
Who says this needs to stop at the school doors? Maybe take the notes on a field trip. Send your kids home with a handful of sticky notes and an assignment to pass them around their neighborhoods. Place some drawings and positive messages around the mall, the grocery store, and the movie theater.
 
It may seem like a small gesture, but positive sticky notes can have a huge impact. Start some conversations, pass along some art, and spread some positivity. It’s well worth your time.
 
 

 Have you or your students created art from sticky notes?

What have you done to spread positivity with your students’ art?

 
 
 

Tim is a high school teacher from Omaha, NE. His teaching and writing focus on the development of creativity, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking skills.

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  • Mr. Post

    Brilliant! Kids love to read notes from each other. It’s the best use of sticky notes ever!

  • Dawn Kruger

    How timely for me! I just started a project this week–“A Minion Ways to be Kind”. Every K-6 student is drawing/coloring a Minion to go in the hall along with a small heart made with the school counselor who is meeting with them to talk about kindness. Each heart has something kind to say or do. Younger kids choose from 9 different minimal pencil outlines-they add eyes, hair, hats, pockets, buttons, etc. Older kids can use to sketches or make their own. I’m really enthused by the results.

  • Maggie

    What a wonderful project! We are starting a similar project with random acts of kindness. Students will take a picture and email their random act to a specific email account for posting later. Maybe someone can give us some pointers on how they handle social media in the high school setting. We have concerns on inappropriate posts, etc.

  • Kristine Blocker

    This is a great idea. My Art Club gave it a try and wow! We had about 40 sticky notes in the commons area one morning and they were all gone before the first bell. We are hoping to do this somewhere in the community soon. Thanks for the inspiration! I did feel that I had to check all of them before posting. There are so many new acronyms and sayings that I had to check to be sure they were really appropriate.