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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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 21 tions help children realize that they are members of society and they can help change it. When they are asked to be the creator of something that could cause change, they have the tools to invent something meaning- ful to themselves, their class, their school, and, ultimately, the world. Introducing Protest The first lesson sparked students' imaginations when I read aloud Octo- pus Protests, w ritten by Jacquelyn Reinach and illustrated by Richard Hefter. Throughout the book, Octopus comes to the rescue with her bag of protest flags and offers a protest mes - sage for various situations that the a nimal characters find themselves in. I then shared with my students moments in my life when I have felt like I needed to protest something. I showed them a picture of me at a pro - test against war and explained to them t hat I wished countries didn't fight. I also showed them the protest poster I made for the Women's March in 2017. Then I asked them, "What do you wish you could fight for or change?" Students took turns sharing their pro- test ideas, which included: No More B ullying, No Littering, No Fighting, No Cursing, No Being Mean to Each Other, Be Kind, Love Each Other, and more. Students returned to their tables and started drafting plans for their protest posters using colored pencils. Review and Discussion At the beginning of our next class, I shared with students a definition of protest that was relatable and included hand gestures: Protest is "fighting (fist in the air) for something you (fingers pointing forward) believe in (hands pumping on heart)." Then we observed and studied protest art by Emory Douglas and Luba Lukova. I asked stu - dents to make observations about their work: What do you see? What about the piece makes you think that? Students also shared drafts of their posters. I asked their peers to give feedback by answering: What is this artist's protest poster about? How does their drawing connect to the words? What could they add to make their message clearer? Watercolor Transfer Students transferred their plans to larger pieces of paper using oil pas- tels. I reminded them to write their p rotest words large and then draw their correlating pictures. In our third class, we looked at works in progress and revisited reflection questions. Together, we explored how watercolor paint inter - acts with the oil pastels. Students q uickly noticed that when water- color paint goes on top of the oil p astels, they do not mix. They then transitioned to their tables and added watercolor paint to their posters. Expanding Our Frames The unit begins to breathe when we watch a video of a protest. Students I alwa s tr o create lessons that invite students to tell their own stories and share their own beliefs. make visual and audible observa- tions about the clip: What do you s ee? What do you hear? What are they fighting for? We then transi- tion to questions about their own p rotest art: What are you fighting for through your protest poster? Before embarking on our own march, we discuss procedures. How did the protestors in the video chant? (in unison) How did they move? (walking together) Students finally leave the artroom with their protest posters and chant their beliefs loud and proud outside and in the school hallway. Jaymie Paige Stein Green is an art teacher at Senator Frank Lautenberg School in Pat - erson, New Jersey. jaymiepaige @ gmail.com N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K www.goodreads.com/book/ show/264887.Octopus_ Protests Thailynn Ramirez, No Robbing Stores!, grade one.

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