Art is and has been a fundamental expression of American Indian culture as it appears in many media, including clothing, dance, poetry, photography and painting, to name a few. Students will look to representations of these characteristics to explore the cultural identity of the modern American Indian. Students will analyze artistic representations to detect biases or expressions that limit viewers’ understanding of certain cultures, and use these analytical skills to evaluate their own artwork as well. There will be a visit to the Yale Art Gallery to continue this analysis. Students will read history, through prose and drama, in order to discover the journey of American Indian culture from settlement until now and the political injustices that prevail to this day. Students will also take a look into their own culture to find elements that express their cultural identity. There will be connections made between modern American Indian life and the lives of the students. In making such connections, students will create art that speaks a message of awareness, empathy and common ground. They will do this by implementing new art techniques of typography and symbolism to create a piece that represents two cultures and their commonality in America.
(Developed for Visual Arts, grades 5-8, and Photo I: Emphasis, grades 6-8; recommended for Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Visual Storytelling, and Photography, grades 6-12)