Last month, as many people know, was Black History Month. In honor of that I created a Jacob Lawrence Project (link to original post) for my students and y’all, it was a success!
Not only did my student really enjoy the project, they also took the subject matter seriously and asked questions. I am supper proud and excited for how they’ll take the rest of my projects for the remaining school year.
The objective of the lesson was for the class to use pictures from the Civil Rights movement and paint them in in the style of Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. The only catch was that they had to include colored paper somewhere in their project, making it a sort of collage. The results of this project have made me so proud! Here are some pictures of some of the pieces compared to the original.
This project was very opened ended and I was amazed by how each student decided to approach there task. It was also interesting to see how some of them started. Most painted parts of the picture first (we used tempera paint and acrylic so it dried fast) and then added the paper. There was a handful of kids that did the complete opposite. I also think that the minimalist aspect of this project really gave them more range to work with. Its always interesting to see what you will get when you tell children to just go for it.
For Black History Month, I’ve decided to teach my students about Jacob Lawrence. He is one of my favorite artists and he’s Migration Series touches on a topic that I’ve noticed not a lot of school books talk about.
For those of you that don’t know, the Great Migration (1916-1970) was the relocation of 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the Urban North.
There was a call for industrial workers in the North because of World War I and many wanted to escape the Reconstruction of the Civil War in the South. Unfortunately, many migrants still dealt with violent racism and discrimination in the North. Jacob Lawrence created a 60 panel series called The Migration Series (1940-41) that depicted what African Americans went through. For this month’s art project I’m having my students great mixed media paintings using construction paper and acrylic paint. In the style of Jacob Lawrence, they will be recreating pictures from the Civil Rights movement.
I taught to the first group on Friday and they all seemed to enjoy the process. My goal with this lesson is to actually to my students about an important moment in history that some people thing should down played. Not talking about things such as slavery, the civil war, rasicm and all the terrible things that happened does no good for anyone.
Do not forget these people. Do not edit or hide this part of history. We need to remember it so we don’t make the same mistakes and so we can learn from the ones we’ve made.