This unit was created by ELA and Visual Arts Educators in Pittsburgh, PA Schools, as part of the 2021 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately 3-4 weeks, or 15 class periods.
This unit has information and links that are directly tied to Pittsburgh. Using these resources offers relevancy and connections to our youth. Faculty interested in using this unit in other areas will need to research local information that would be relevant to their youth.
Objectives and Outcomes
Students will practice self-expression based on personal experiences and perspectives, as well as their understanding and empathy for the experiences and perspectives of others.
Students will utilize resources and engage in exploration and discourse to work individually and collaboratively toward sense-making.
Students will explore and analyze historical events and current systems, and define connections between them.
Students will identify and evaluate how current systems affect their individual experiences and those of others through research, reflection, and creative expression.
Students will consider what gives them happiness and hope for a better tomorrow by sharing and celebrating their work and learning with others.
The structure for the objectives above were inspired by Hill Pedagogies from Dr. Gholdy Muhammad.
- How does knowledge of the past influence us and help us understand the present and the future?
- How do power and privilege shape our viewpoints?
Students will explore local histories and select 1619 Project works, and their present stories, in order to create a deeper understanding of oppressive systems and how students’ lives have been impacted by them. They will examine news stories and historical research that connect national and local histories to the experiences of communities in the present, and will also explore how artists craft artworks that capture connections between the past and present using various media. The intent is to cultivate brave spaces where scholars are empowered to examine artifacts, investigate history, and create healing through civic dialogue and creative response. The unit will culminate with a collaboratively curated exhibition synthesizing the works and perspectives of the youth in order to ignite community engagement and discourse.
Students will reflect on artifacts and resources that have been explored by reviewing their notes and shared work, as well as the notes and shared work from their classmates. They will build on ideas that resonate with them to create a final piece or body of expressive work using a medium of choice.
An artist statement will be written to include their ideas and inspiration for their work. The statement will also include students’ reflections about their creative processes. Final works will be shared with the class, and groups will collaborate to curate their works into a public exhibition.
Four-week unit plan for teachers, including pacing, texts and multimedia resources, thinking routines and guiding questions for group discussions, and performance tasks for the unit. Download below, or scroll down to read the complete unit planners, including pacing, texts and multimedia resources, guiding questions for group discussions, and performance tasks for the unit. Download below, or scroll down to read the complete unit plan.
Use multiple approaches to begin creative endeavors.
Shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present-day life using a contemporary practice of art or design.
Collaboratively develop a proposal for an installation, artwork, or space design that transforms the perception and experience of a particular place.
Apply relevant criteria from traditional and contemporary cultural contexts to examine, reflect on, and plan revisions for works of art and design in progress.
Analyze, select, and curate artifacts and/or artworks for presentation and preservation.
Analyze and describe the impact that an exhibition or collection has on personal awareness of social, cultural, or political beliefs and understandings.
Hypothesize ways in which art influences perception and understanding of human experiences.
Analyze how one's understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
Describe how knowledge of culture, traditions, and history may influence personal responses to art.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.