On October 23, 2017, the teachers of Passages Academy--Belmont initiated a new interdisciplinary unit focused on the historical era of The Great Migration (1915-1970). During this time period, millions of African Americans travelled from the Jim Crow South to better opportunities in the North. African American artist Jacob Lawrence chronicled what became known as the Great Migration with a series of paintings begun in 1940.
Our interdisciplinary unit brought together the history of the Migration and the visual interpretations of Lawrence, and current events related to migrants around the world, along with workshops from visiting teaching artists to prepare students for a field trip to the New Victory Theater for a performance by Step Afrika! based on both the Migration and Lawrence's paintings.
The following sections will decribe a little bit of what classes did each day to give you an idea of the breadth and depth of what we're hoping to teach our students. --Sean LeBeau, Special Education Teacher
I'll start by telling you about our kick off yesterday. Ms. Lori Ikawa, Speech Language Pathologist here at Passages Academy, pushed into several advisory classes with me (the school librarian) to introduce the topic and Jacob Lawrence's famous artwork via the picture book, The Great Migration: An American Story. We invited students to wonder about the artist and the art. Here are some of the questions students asked:
|All of these questions were brainstormed by Rose Group during a collective brainstorming session.|
Our Advisory class has been working hard on understanding The Great Migration and the role Jacob Lawrence has in this interdisciplinary study. Our students have been reading the book and examining the paintings while simultaneously trying to create meaning and make connections to the history of it all. We have been studying new vocabulary and aspects of Lawrence's life that contributed to his success as a famous painter. We have been recording our inquiries and sharing out our ideas as our minds process this new information about history, the artist himself, and the narrative he creates within his art. --Jessica Ernyey, ELA teacher
|These questions were brainstormed by a 16-year old student working independently during his first class session encountering Lawrence's The Great Migration: An American Story.|
|These notes were made by a student encountering this text for the first time.|
Scratch Art in Art Class
11/3, 11/6, 11/13 and 11/14: New Victory Pre-theater and Post-theater Workshops
Click here to read more about these workshops. Here are some additional photos of students engaged in the workshops:
11/21/17 Advisory Trioramas