How was your experience integrating Prism.K12 strategies and Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series in the classroom?

21 posts / 0 new
Last post
lhoffman
How was your experience integrating Prism.K12 strategies and Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series in the classroom?

Reflect on what inspired, surprised, or challenged you or your students during the process.

Kaitlin Wegrzyn (not verified)
Using the Prism.K12

Using the Prism.K12 strategies and Jacob Lawerence's Migration Series has re-ignited my own passion for teaching and improved student engagement in my classroom.  When asked which activities they liked and disliked, all of my students responded that they enjoyed all of the activities and learning about Jacob Lawrence and the Migration Series.  I was inspired to see students who don't usually speak up in class discussions raise their hands and share their ideas.  I was surprised by how much my students wanted to learn more about Jacob Lawrence himself.  As a student, I don't remember being very excited to learn about history, but my students wanted to know everything about this influential artist.  As a teacher, I felt challenged to discuss some difficult historical issues that I had no experience with.  At the same time, I wanted my students to understand how powerful they are and how much their ancestors have accomplished.  By using the Prism.K12 strategies, our classroom became open to honest discussions about segreation, discrimination, and how these issues persist today.  My students were challenged to step into another person's shoes and see things from different perspectives.  Overall, our class grew together in our love and appreciation for art, in our understanding of the past, and in our dreams for the future. 

Lindsey Crifasi (not verified)
Low-Level ESL + Arts Integration

Using Jacob Lawrence and the PrismK12 strategies in the classroom made me even more of a believer in arts integration. Among the benefits I saw, the ones that excited me the most was the personal growth and self-confidence my students gained through the arts. Students who had trouble focusing or were so timid they could barely speak out in class evolved into assertive English speakers. There were other self-growth aspects I witnesed. Students aquired cultural and soft skills through the rich medium of the arts.  Not only did they learn some history and connected their story to the global stories of migration, but they also have learned polite phrases in English (please, thank you, excuse me) and museum etiquette. These soft skills are transferrable to any workplace, giving them a leg up on their coworkers.  I could have taught polite phrases, soft skills, etiquette, and higher-order thinking in the safe bubble of my classroom, but instead students used what they learned right away in public. That kind of practice is invaluable and way more memorable.

One thing that really inspired me to see through this project, and only through the use of the Prism K12 strategies, was the insight into student motivations for studying. I now know much more about each individual's goals for learning English. After doing our paining project, where Ss painted the words that motivated them to study and persevere, Ss were even more ready to study harder. I saw more focus and excitment to learn in class. We became a more united learning environment.

Shakenya Humphries (not verified)
Jacob Lawrence Reflections

Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, wrote that “Over the decades, perhaps the wrong questions have been asked about the Great Migration. Perhaps it is not a question of whether the migrants brought good or ill to the cities they fled to or were pushed or pulled to their destinations, but a question of how they summoned the courage to leave in the first place or how they found the will to press beyond the forces against them and the faith in a country that had rejected them for so long. By their actions, they did not cream the American Dream, they willed it into being by a definition of their own choosing. They did not ask to be accepted but declared themselves the Americans that perhaps few others recognized but that they had always been deep within their hearts.” This particular quote from the book stood out to me because as a teacher it was important that students reflect on this “courage”. The Washington School for Girls’ prides itself of building African American women of courage. This arts integration project facilitated these deep discussions in a natural and creative way. Students were able to think about these deep issues and express, retell, and build on those courageous actions depicted in Jacob Lawrences’s series. This art project made these relevant topics accessible to the youth and gave them the platform they needed to articulate their understanding. We learned from it and loved every moment of the process. 

Cailin Heard (not verified)
4th Math, SS

Throughout my life, I am continually surprised by how much I enjoy learning and studying art, when I am in situations that expose me to it. I don't often seek opportunities myself to explore it, but everytime I am in a situation in which I am surrounded by art, I find it very interesting, captivating and enriching. I wasn't often exposed to artwork growing up and it's completely opposite of what I studied in undergrad and graduate school. However, everytime I am exposed to it, an immediate interest is sparked and I find it extremely rewarding to learn about, think about and discuss. It was really great to see my students make a similiar connection to art and specially the Migration Series, despite being novice art-historians themselves. It was nice to be able to work through out challenges or discomforts togehther. And it was special to see how they were so interested, engaged and inspired by studying Jacob Lawrence's artwork. It was great to see how accesible very basic skills in our curriculum became to the girls, simply by using The Migration Series to teach it, rather than the school-provided curriculum. The prismk12 strategies also helped make the content more accessible to the girls, too and constantly pushed them to think and work more creatively. 

My favorite piece was the playwriting experience. I was so proud of each and every student and it was so special to see the progression from the first day we started brainstorming about their performances to the final product. I found that though my students have very distinct and different strenghts and weaknesses, as well as interests, they all found ways to connect to both the playwriting and the performing. They were each so proud of the hardwork they put in and the work they produced. From the beginning stages of simply stepping in the shoes of the characters in the panels and improvising an entire dialogue, to completely revising the dialogues with careful thought and consideration to everything they were learning, to finally truly "getting in the shoes" of the characters on stage and showcasing everything they learned, it was truly inspiring and easy to see how deep of a connection all of the girls were able to make to such an important piece of their history and a profoundly challenging yet inspiring story. 

 

Tara Villanueva (not verified)
JL Reflection PrismK12

Arts Integration -- Beginner & Advanced ESL Levels

I shared this speech with my colleagues, students from CR School, and the Phillips Collection staff and audience on the day of our performance. It was a reflection of our work in the CR 3-person cohort within the larger PrismK12 cohort. Our performance only came days after what seemed many in the U.S. were grieving after the Presidential Election. Our work is so relevant and I have learned so much about our students through this project. I have also learned much more about guiding our ESL teachers within arts integration. I also learned what is acceptable by society and dug deeper with our students to see in the different levels how their minds work, how they deal with struggle and bravery, and how much they have internalized and accepted their hardships. The cohort gave our students a platform to deal with issues on a personal level and on a much larger scale. It gave them confidence moreso than a simple writing or learning experience. Our cohort at the CR School wants to continue to do these experiential learning strategies within the arts moving forward. We are so proud of our students' work and what we have learned from this process.

Good Morning everyone,

 

Thank you, Laura, and also to the Phillips Collection for allowing us to be here today with the students of the Carlos Rosario School. Before I begin, I wanted to read a powerful quote by Jacob Lawrence himself. Listen carefully:

 

I've always been interested in history, but they never taught Negro history in the public schools...I don't see how a history of the United States can be written honestly without including the Negro. I didn't [paint] just as a historical thing, but because I believe these things tie up with the Negro today. We don't have a physical slavery, but an economic slavery. If these people, who were so much worse off than the people today, could conquer their slavery, we can certainly do the same thing....I am not a politician. I'm an artist, just trying to do my part to bring this thing about.

 

Jacob Lawrence’s words couldn’t resonate any better today than they did decades ago. Jacob Lawrence told the story of his parents and others who were migrants from the South to the North during The Great Migration. I, as an arts educator, have the ability to speak to immigrants from around the world through Jacob Lawrence’s art.

 

Our mission at the Carlos Rosario School is to holistically serve the adult immigrant community of Washington, D.C. through excellent learning and to prepare them as citizens in the United States. The arts align well with our goals as a school in that they provide a safe platform for our students in extraordinary ways.

 

The arts are not supplementary, nor are they at the same level of all subjects -- in fact, the arts are the core of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and learning. Being part of the Phillips Collection cohort along with Andrew and Lindsey, I have been able to see the differences between the two ESL classes. However, the similarities I experience in the outcomes of the students’ daily performances are the same. Students’ confidence, listening to directions, pronunciation improvements, and critical thinking have all been challenged and superbly enhanced. Within these two classes, the process itself has been of utmost importance. On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, I have co-taught lessons with both teachers. The transformations are tremendous and the students are using their personal journeys and stories to experience Jacob Lawrence’s art. Using both visual arts and drama, our students have learned that within The Migration Series, there is a sense of universality in relating to the human condition. In addition, both teachers are new to arts integration and their own evolution in using the artistic methods given have also been transformative.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with the Phillips Collection and on behalf of the Carlos Rosario School organization, I am honored that we were chosen to extend our partnership this semester with the PrismK12 series. It has been an eye opener on an array of topics. In taking informal surveys of our students, many of them reunite with families, start new generations, or come with one common goal--to have a better life.

 

We have seen it time and time again throughout the United States history--immigrants come to the United States for better opportunities. Even within the United States, the African-Americans came North during the Great Migration as Jacob Lawrence so vividly depicts for better jobs and better treatment. The stories have not changed, only the people. And you will see that today.

 

A certain essence of beauty shows through the rawness of our students’ stories. These stories of resilience are what empowers them and shapes who they are today in the United States. Many of our follow-up activities in the classroom have been focused on what empowers them today and how to navigate the United States’ culture and become integrated into our society.

 

So as we move into our last portion of the show--the Q&A section, you will have the opportunity as an audience to dig a little deeper into our students’ lives. For all of them, the Jacob Lawrence panels resonated so much that we wanted all of you to take a closer look into seeing how. We welcome our panelists onto the stage for a candid review of The Migration Series and how it relates to them.

 
Rhonda Ferguson... (not verified)
Pre-K 3&4 - Early Childhood Education and Kindergarten

During the time we spent learning about and exploring the Migration Series, we were amazed by how much the students actually connected to it. Many of the three, four  and five year olds were able to share their thinking and show understanding of migration. We simply defined the word as moving from one place to another and how many families, people, and even children migrated.

The children also were able to visit the musuem where we saw many of them express their thinking and own ideas about many of the panels such as the train and the sounds they imagined a train would make. Some talked about the travellers and how it seemed their bags may have been really heavy.

Prior to the actual trip students took shapes and made their own travel "figures" and embraced the understanding of migration at a very basic level, "you had to dress and pack to prepare for this type of journey." Based on interest and joint discovery,reflection and thought processing with the students; we gave creating a skit a try.

The more as their teachers, we thought about the experince and the idea of creating a skit; we begin to think about how to make this journey with Jacob Lawrence's work more meaningful. 

One day in class after writing the skit we recited the words and told the story. Students were then asked who is telling the story, what is the story about, what is happening and so on. It was super amazing to hear so many say it is about the trunk, the case! We had only placed the case in the floor and just begin to read. 

The students have shown many maningful connections to this work and even recognized on a recent trip to the NMAAHC the Migration Series replica there, the connection to the Pullman Porter's train located there and so on.

This experience created a long lasting foundation for our students that will stay with them for a lifetime.

April Hinnant (not verified)
Kindergarten

During the time we spent learning about and exploring the Migration Series, we were amazed by how much the students actually connected to it. Many of the three, four  and five year olds were able to share their thinking and show understanding of migration. We simply defined the word as moving from one place to another and how many families, people, and even children migrated.

The children also were able to visit the museum where we saw many of them express their thinking and own ideas about many of the panels such as the train and the sounds they imagined a train would make. Some talked about the travellers and how it seemed their bags may have been really heavy.

Prior to the actual trip students took shapes and made their own travel "figures" and embraced the understanding of migration at a very basic level, "you had to dress and pack to prepare for this type of journey." Based on interest and joint discovery,reflection and thought processing with the students; we gave creating a skit a try.

The more as their teachers, we thought about the experience and the idea of creating a skit; we begin to think about how to make this journey with Jacob Lawrence's work more meaningful.

One day in class after writing the skit we recited the words and told the story. Students were then asked who is telling the story, what is the story about, what is happening and so on. It was super amazing to hear so many say it is about the trunk, the case! We had only placed the case in the floor and just begin to read.

The students have shown many meaningful connections to this work and even recognized on a recent trip to the NMAAHC the Migration Series replica there, the connection to the Pullman Porter's train located there and so on.

This experience created a long lasting foundation for our students that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Andrew Hinshaw (not verified)
Prism.K12 Experience

Using Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series in the classroom was extremely fruitful for both myself and my students.  Integrating art into the ESL classroom was something I had not done before and the panels were very useful in prompting students to get involved in group activities.  I was surprised to see how much my students related to the stories depicted in the panels.  It amazed me how much students opened up about their own immigration stories in comparison to the stories told in the panels.  Use of the panels also served as a platform for discussing the history of segregation in the United States and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement.  An important part of my classes is that students increase their confidence in speaking in more academic contexts.  Use of the Migration Series definitely suplemented this and served as an outlet for students to express themselves in and outside of the classroom.

Sherry Lassiter (not verified)
Prism.K12 Experience with Second Grade/Reading/Language Arts

Using Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series as a resource for arts integration was wonderful experience for me and the second grade students at Vansville ES. The students were engaged during the entire process. Being an theater and music enthusiast, it was exciting for me to incorporate my love for the arts into what I teach in the classroom. I also have a passion for reading/language arts. It was fun collaborating with our wonderful art teacher, Virginia Bute-Riley. In early October, I transitioned out of the second grade classroom to become the Reading Intervention Specialist. This allowed me to work with the entire second grade and not just my classroom. I was able to see the impact this experience had on the entire second grade and not just my classroom. Combing elements of social studies, reading/language arts, and art was a thrilling experience. I believe that using elements of visual art and drama made the social studies content of movement and location more meaningful for students. 

I began working with each second grade class by defining migration and identifying the southern and northern states using a map activity and The Travel Game (Worksheet 6) in the Jacob Lawrence Teacher Kit. I read The Great Migration: An American Story, with the second graders to build understanding of what the Great Migration was and why it happened. This also helped prepare students for the The Phillips Collection field trip.

The students went on a field trip to The Phillips Collection where they were able to see The Migration Series for themselves. They were involved in a variety of activities to deepen and extend knowledge of Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, and the Great Migration. They also saw the Whitfield Lovell exhibit. When we returned from the field trip, teachers were asked to debrief with their students about the trip and what they learned. 

Students prepared for play writing by learning about the actor's tools and participating in drama exercises and games. Each second grade class chose a panel from The Migration Series to develop into a play. The classes were divided into groups: actors, directors, set designers, stage crew, and playwrights. I worked with some the playwrights to develop the plays for their class and showed some of the directors how to direct. After the plays were written, we had a few rehearsals. Students were given the choice if they wanted to memorize their lines or read fromthe script (Reader's Theater).

The plays were performed for the other second grade classes and family and friends of the students in the second grade. Our principal attended as well as some of the staff from The Phillips Collection. The students were very excited and did a good job. They had such a good job that some have asked if we can do another play!

Savanna Jamerson (not verified)
Prism K12 Expereince

My expereince with Prism K12 strategies with the Jacob Lawrence Migration Series pushed me to be more reflective about what I was doing and why. Before I let students loose to view the art, I needed to identify specific reasons they would be viewing the art and what I could do with those reasons afterward.  By giving students a purpose in their viewing, meaningful converstation was generated as students viewed the panels.  I could later follow-up with students to engage them in meaningful classroom discusions not only about the history, but also about themes that exist in our contemporary times. 

 

This led me to the Prism K12 strategy of empathy.  In these times of anti-immigration, students could better empathisize with people who immigrate to the U.S. for many of the same reasons that African Americans moved from the south to the north.  During their viewing, students missed some of the more complex images that illustrated the themes of oppression and resistance.  For example, they missed the point that when African Americans were used as strike breakers in the north, this was a dream deferred for both working class whites and blacks.  In futrue lessons, I would plan to do more teaching of the hisotrical background so that students could better recognize when the see these themes in the art.

During a follow-up lesson that would require students to produce some kind of artistis expression that was inspired by the Migration Series, I struggled to make something fit.  However, the Prism K12 strategy of empathy and connection again served me well.  Students were asked to choose a short biography of a 20th century woman who fought for civil or human rights and then present their work to the class as if they were that person.  In this way students were ebginning the process of empathy.  A follow-up lesson had students make connections and synthesize by choosing images that could illustrate the work of the woman activist they chose.  Students made good connections even if some of their art skills needed work.  Next time, I would like to partner with a visual artist to help students create visual images with a bit more skill.  I would also afford student more time to complete their art projects.

Claire DiJulio (not verified)
Prism K12 Experience

Thank You Prism for providing such rich resources and a wonderful opportunity to collaborate, integrate, explore and create! Our work with Jacob Lawrence and the Migration Series was timed perfectly to build on our Civil Rights Social Studies Unit. Students were able to make connections to the unjust and complex topics faced throughout history and continue the conversations as we are still fighting for social justice today. They had the opportunity to display their thinking and learning in conversation, poetry, and visual arts. My second graders were truly inspired to learn about Jacob Lawrence's life, and enthusiastic about mimicking his artwork. They were fortunate to take a field trip to the Seattle Art Museum and see the Migration Series on display, tour with a docent and participate in a writing workshop in reflection to his work. Additionally, many of my students come from immigrant families and/or have moved many times already in their lives, so this integrative work was extremely meaningful to them. Students were proud to share their own stories and were able to build empathy in understanding stories of others. 

My biggest challenge was carving out enough time to really dig deep and allow for exploration and expression! I had tons of ideas and additional activities I would have loved to do.  I always want more arts integration and the kids want it too! Thankfully our Art teacher is AMAZING and always providing avenues and connections to their learning and life experiences. My work with Prism was a great reminder of the meaningful work that is being done and how art can be integrated in a multitude of ways to support student learning, confidence and expression.

Kara Macdonald (not verified)
Migration Series in U.S. History

I was surprised at how seamlessly the Prism.K12 strategies fit into the historical thinking skills I use in my 11th grade U.S. History class. Under pressure to meet our content demands, many secondary teachers find it difficult to justify integrating art into their curriculum. Participating in the workshop and learning the Prism.K12 strategies helped me realize that analyzing art and analyzing primary documents utilize a similar skill set. I saw that integrating artwork as a way to understand history expands my students’ knowledge and interest. My students were challenged to trust their own instincts in identifying artistic choices and Lawrence’s message at first. With practice and the freedom to interpret, they became more confident.

Virginia Bute-Riley (not verified)
Art PK-5

In the art room I focused on using the "Empathize" and "Express" strategies along with drama and playwriting and Jacob Lawrence's artwork.  The Migration Series Panels were our “text” as we explored expression, portraiture, and narrative art, as well as a few RELA and social studies concepts.  Lawrence’s rich images really spoke to the students.  They were excited to see his work in person at the museum.  They loved the chance to create and perform scripts they wrote to bring Lawrence's work to life.  The students’ enthusiasm for, and interest in, the subject matter inspired me to keep the unit going for so long.  After they wrote and performed their plays they drew narrative scenes to tell stories about their own families. 
One challenge I faced involved time management.  I only see my students every other week.  Since we dedicated some of our art time to working on scripts and rehearsing, it took an extra long time to get our studio art completed.  I definitely see myself doing a similar unit next year but I will get the classroom teachers involved in the planning and teaching so that some of the work is done outside of the time they spend in my art room.

Drea Jermann (not verified)
Social Studies, World History and Poltical Science

The experience of collaborating with other teachers, the opportunity for close examination and reflection of Jacob Lawrence Migration Series and the experience of working with a cohort of teacher on art integration have been extremely rewarding to me.  The Prism.K12 strategies, especially Express, Connect and Synthesize helped me to push my own practice and my use of arts integration in the classroom.  One thing that surprised me is how an often-challenging thinking strategy as Synthesize, can easily to some of my most struggling students, once they had the opportunity to show their understanding in a different way.  I was inspired by the level of engagement in my students during the two activities I did in my classroom using both the Migration Series and Prism.K12. 

 

jltrout_1577
Visual Arts Integration Empowerment

It has been an incredible oportunity to deepen my work with arts integration and collaborating with other teachers and teaching artists. The resources and support provided by Prism.K12 inspired a wealth of opportunities and access for our entire community. The stategies have provided me with additional   vocabualry to connect and build upon using the Great Migration Series as a grounded point. The teacher PD was engaging and inspired all teachers to incorpoarte lessons connected to the Migration Series beyond the art room. It has been a pivotal moment for our community in seeing and experiencing the arts as a valuable  part of the human experience. All of our students got to see The Migration seires and experience STEP AFRIKA and used these experience to paint, draw, etch, write, create, sing, and perform in different ways using thework of jacob Lawrence as inspiration. This has also  inspired a student led group to perform their own migration stories using step at our end of the year assembly. Thank you for this rich experience and opportunity to delve deeper to provide access for our students and community.  

sistateacher_1581
Prism K - 12 Experience

 

I am a longtime high school Humanities/Social Studies/World Language teacher in exile as a first year middle school Language Arts teacher! On a personal level I learned a lot about arts integration. I really benefited from the support we received.

Being involved with the cohort made me feel less isolated.  It would have been nice to have met up more often!  I am saddened that I was the only person in my school participating in this project. In the same way that the entire six grade class went to see the Terra Cotta Soldiers on a field trip, it would have been nice to do the same with the Migration Series. 

I would have liked for my students to have been able to do an art project, but my hands were a really tied. Still, I am glad that students were excited about being able to participate in this endeavor, even in small ways.  All students in all of my classes, led by teaching artist Imani Sims, were able to do at least one poem reflecting upon panel # 18 and some of the poetry from the Migration Suite.                                                     

 

sistateacher_1581
Thank you!

I wanted to say thank you to Laura Hoffman and Donna Jonte for this opportunity and for all of their help. Prism K12 represent!

 

Karen Grace (not verified)
High School Social Studies

I found the particular combination of intellectual work with art offered by Prism.K12 strategies to be very engaging for my own thinking about how to offer rich and meaningful experiences to students.  Playing around with the strategies sparked my own creative planning juices and allowed me to come up with something that was exciting and highly successful.

In watching my students work through the relatively simple activity I designed, I was awestruck by how much of themselves students were willing to pour into the work, how excited they were to do something visual and artistic, and how easy it was to tap into all of this pent-up creative goodness.  They were so hungry for it!

I'm so glad and grateful that working with Prism.K12 gave me the excuse I needed to develop something wonderful!

mrlamarre_1655
Recent immigrant students see themselves in The Migration Series

Using Jacob Lawrence and the PrismK12 strategies in the classroom has allowed me to create a learning experience for my students in which they could make deeper connections with historical events that happened in the United States in the 1900’s.

More than half of my class, including me, are recent immigrants to America. Most of them are from Africa; Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Gambia and the Congo. The focus of our inquiry was to compare and contrast the African American Great Migration with their personal experience.

We used the Jacob Lawrence Migration series to learn about and research who was part of the Great Migration, where they came from geographically, what they left behind, why they went to the North and what they found once they got there. The students then analyzed and synthesized the information they had gathered to draw some conclusions about the Great Migration.

The next step was to learn about their own experience. They interviewed their parents asking the same questions they researched on the Great Migration. They then compared their answers and were surprised by the degree of similarities between the two experiences. During one of our discussions, one of my Somalian girls exclaimed with a sense of surprise and wonderment, “They are just like us!”

I believe that this learning experience was very important for my students because there are some conflicts between the African Americans and the new Africans.  It was rewarding to have them come to the realization that, despite the apparent differences, they share a lot in common and ultimately came for the same reasons: They both came looking for a better life for themselves and their families.

Thank you for your amazing resources. I look forward to using them again next year.

AnneCampbell (not verified)
Jaco Lawrence Migration. Teaching experience

This work was a great reminder that even though my school has an awesome art teacher, integrating art into my lessons keeps students engaged and is worth our time. Students all had stories to share and connections to make, and were excited to express themselves throughout the process. This has been a worthwhile experience that I'm glad I took on. I feel more confident expanding the ways that I integrate art into other subjects - some that hadn't occurred to me before or that I thought I didn't have time for. Can't wait to continue using what I know.

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.