It is my intention that each student will choose a medium and narrate a history, tell a survival story, fictional or non-fictional. Some students will interview the senior citizens who made a train trip with them to Harlem and who have visited them at school. These senior citizens meet (about a hundred strong) every Wednesday afternoon at the Stetson Public Library on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven. The students will then retell these histories through one of the mediums to which they have been exposed in this unit.
Students may choose to retell one of the histories or survival stories they have studied in this unit. They might even choose to collaborate with another student or a senior citizen, for that matter, to narrate a historical event. Certainly the mural in the cafeteria will be a collaboration, which could reach even beyond the students in the immediate classes studying this topic. This mural project will require careful planning but has tremendous potential as a learning experience, a collaborative experience, and as testimony to the story-telling qualities of art.
At the end of the unit, students will present either to the rest of the class or to the rest of the school, in a culminating celebration, the creative art that they have produced. This will include the mural spanning a wall in the school cafeteria on which students will have collaborated in designing and painting. Of course we will invite the senior citizens who participated in the interviews.
Each student also will have a portfolio that begins with an exercise in visual literacy, incorporates graphic organizers, and culminates in a five-paragraph essay. These activities are spelled out in the following Lesson Plans I and II.