SchoolArts Magazine

November 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 24 of 54

20 NOVEMBER 2017 SchoolArts E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D O ur current sociopolitical sta- tus places so much oppression in our faces, including, but not limited to: sexism, hetero - sexism, classism, racism, colorism, ableism, lookism, sizeism, ageism, religious oppression, colonialism, and anti-Semitism. Although our younger students can't necessarily have in- depth dialogues about how to change these things, they can critically think and reflect about how these issues make them feel. School teaches children how to become contributing members of a democratic society, and therefore it demands that we teach our children what a democratic society is, how it was defined throughout her/history, and how it is currently defined. It's important that we listen to our stu - dents' own experiences in the world and help them make connections to their pasts, to each other, and to the future. It's equally important to me that we teach children about hope, and revolution. The following unit is relevant, creative, and has the ability to spark social change. Sharing Beliefs Our school is home to students who come from the most challenging of circumstances. Every student in our school receives free, subsidized break - fast and lunch. They live in a poverty that I can never completely under - stand because I have not experienced it. When I consider the lives my stu - dents lead, I always try to create les- sons that invite them to tell their own stories and share their own beliefs. Coupling our current national atmosphere with my students' lived experiences, I was excited to embark on a Protest Art unit with my first- graders. When children are asked to think about what they care about, what upsets them in the world, and what they want to change, the choice is placed in their hands. These ques- The A RT of PROTEST Christopher Rosa, Save Our Planets, grade one. Jaymie Paige Stein Green

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