In preparing this unit I hope to present both literature and the visual arts to the students as a place for them to respond and explore both the work and their own lives. Through museum visits I will introduce the students not only to different pieces of art, but also to a method of interpreting the art that will help make them more observant and critical thinkers. In the classroom we will focus on writers as artists, examining both the written work and visual art of two authors. Among the artists to be examined are Thurber and Poe, but the unit is set up so that a variety of other writer/artists could be used. Students will be asked to write a "Thurber Fable" and a "Poe short story" as well as mimic the art of the two authors. Finally the unit will shift to an art focus when students are asked to create self-portraits and autobiographical essays after examining self portraits of both Poe and Thurber.
(Developed for English Language Arts, grade 8; recommended for English Language Arts and Visual Arts, grade 8)