This visual art unit is intended to engage students in innovative communicative design and critical thinking skills. Written instructions will be provided in English and Spanish. Students will be introduced to the unit with the text Schomburg: The Man Who Built A Library by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez. This unit helps expand students’ reading comprehension, art literacy and social skills. As a K-12 Visual Arts teacher I will implement this curriculum to expand the opportunities for my students to demonstrate cross-cultural understanding using the medium of printmaking. Students will learn about the tools and terms used in collagraph, reduction print and silkscreen printmaking processes. The core text of this unit that will be used by students is The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by the African American poet Langston Hughes, illustrated by the African American artist Brian Pickney. Archival poetry by Langston Hughes will be reflected in the unit lessons, each anchored by a single poem. The unit will also include poetry by Hughes from archival research at Yale Beinecke Rare Book Library and collage artworks from the children’s book Sail Away by Langston Hughes and the African American artist Ashley Bryant. A final project drawing together poetry, visual arts and history will include an exhibition of matted prints accompanied by a prose reflection on the poem or original poetry by the students at the school library.
(Developed for Visual Arts, grade 8; recommended for Visual Arts, History, and English, grade 8)