The true heart of my unit involved story-telling. In my classroom we are constantly telling stories in one way or another; we report on books research, we make up fables and short stories, we journal about our own lives and experiences and in the best cases, we share. That is really what makes being a language arts teacher such a privilege; we are always stirring up stories and retelling, sharing and learning.
Lawrence’s art told amazing stories; stories of struggle and hardship, stories of heroes and bravery, stories of many cultures. In this unit Lawrence will lead us in an exercise of storytelling, an exercise that my students will be able to replicate in their own way with their own voices.
Along the way, along the journey this unit will take us on, the students will also achieve the following content objective in the classroom:
- Students will be introduced to the history of slavery and the slave trade in the Caribbean.
- Students will be able to identify key areas and factors having to do with the story of the Haitian Revolution and the plight of Toussaint Louverture on a map.
- Students will read a brief biography of Toussaint Louverture.
- Students will construct journal entries based on their research/study of the Caribbean.
- Students will participate in a Harlem Renaissance Internet scavenger hunt
- Students will be introduced to the art and participants of the Harlem Renaissance through the art of Jacob Lawrence.
- Students will be introduced to Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution through the artwork of Jacob Lawrence.
- Students will become familiar with the concept of storytelling through art by viewing Lawrence’s Toussaint panels as well as the Great Migration, Harriet Tubman and the Fredrick Douglass panels.
- Students will experiment with art, creating their own panels to tell the story of a figure from the Harlem Renaissance or someone from their own life.
- Students will work collaboratively in this multi-disciplinary project.
- Students will work with a variety of media and technology in order to tell their stories.
- Students will present work in a gallery setting among peers and other teachers