Found 629 Learning Lab Collections
This collection provides resources that can be used to introduce and discuss the following essential questions, as part of a larger "American Identity" literature-based unit:
1) In what ways do immigrants change America?
2) What would America be like without immigrants?
3) How do immigrants' experiences contribute to a complex and multifaceted American Identity?
English 12 unit
Focus on "Identity" and transition to "Conformity" and the response of the individual to environmental sources that might seek to suppress individuality
Is American Culture always perceived in the same way by everyone or does it differ from person to person?
Women and men who helped New York immigrates' living conditions during the 19th and early 20th century.
This collections shows men and women who helped change the living conditions of the immigrants that flooded into New York City during the 19th and 20th centuries. They changed the way people lived by shining a light on the poor living conditions of the newest Americans. The following people are discussed in this collection: Lillian Wald, Jane Addams, Margaret Sanger, Jacob Riis, and Theodore Roosevelt. The themes that are discussed are: tenement living, women's health, and immigrants.
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
This collection serves to end the unit on Edo Japan and retake the discussion of how the period fits within the greater scene of world history. In our class, seclusion and openness of countries is an common through line, and so the arrival of the Americans effectively ending the Sakoku period is an important historical milestone. The main goal of this collection is to lead students into this dialectical reflection of how these two countries interacted and what this meant for a Japan that had consciously shut down most trade relations. The opening lesson on Edo Japan puts in doubt how closed the country really was; this last lesson highlights how Edo Japan had evolved since the edict of 1635, and how it had to open its ports and face the conjunctions of the 19th century's international scene.
This collection also brings into light reactions on both sides of the American arrival. Images and archives from both Japanese, as well as American witnesses, allow students to understand the motivations coming from East, as well as the West.
Lesson plan (2 hours)
1. Provide the students with the resources "4c United States-Japan Treaty single." "Black Ships and Samurai," "Founding Fragments - Commodore Perry," and "Matthew Calbraith Perry." Allow students time to browse at least two topics from the website and play the video "Founding Fragments - Commodore Perry" for the entire class.
2. Using all the resources in Step 1, lead class through the visible thinking routine "True for who?" While completing this routine, highlight how each country struggles to defend their views.
At the end of this unit, students have a fairly strong understanding of Japanese national interests. For this reason, the teacher can help provide information of the U.S.'s international stance during the 19th century. While the U.S. plays a background role in our curriculum, we do a quick mention of the Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine, as ways in which the students’ own country emulate cycles of international openness or seclusion. Following this through line, it is necessary to stress the arrival of Commodore Perry to Japan as a thematic intersection. The moment marks both the end of Edo period for Japan, and the United States’ efforts to expand their field of influence.
3. Allow students time to read further into the "Black Ships and Samurai" website. Students can also conduct quick research on the arrival of the Americans in 1853, and Japanese-American relations previous to this date.
4. Provide students a copy of Commodore Perry and President Fillmore's letter to the Emperor of Japan. Use resource "Letters of the Commodore Perry and President Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan (1852-1853)" Do a close reading of the letters and highlight the main passages.
5. Present the remaining images and complete a visible thinking routine "Parts/People/Interactions." Allow students to cite the letters in Step 4, as well as the images in this collection. At the end of this lesson, students are able to compare, as well as to question each country’s discourse of seclusion or non-intervention.
This collection serves as a pre-assessment activity to a unit on Edo Japan. The artwork in the module is heavily influenced by the Edo period. The goal of this short lesson is to activate imagery and ideas of Japanese art during the Edo period.
Lesson plan (<1 hour)
Complete *ONE of the following activities:
1. Use the resource "One Step, First Step, Apple Computer, Osaka, Japan" to lead a "Think/Puzzle/Explore" routine.
2. Use all four resources of the Japan Railway Company to complete a "See/Think/Wonder" visible thinking routine.
3. Use either "How Japan Does It" or "MacDonald's Hamburgers Invading Japan/Tokyo Ginza Shuffle" to lead the "3-2-1 Bridge" visible thinking routine.
*For all three routines:
As you complete the routine, evaluate how much students already know about Japan and the lexicon that they use. Highlight key concepts written in the routine's poster. What do students know and how do these artifacts corroborate or oppose their initial ideas of Japan? Can students discern the historical nature behind some of these ads and posters? For instance, the railway ad displays a screen, and the poster for ‘How Japan Does It’ has a heavy ukiyo-e influence. In this way, these examples of commercial art tie in lasting impressions of a culture with contemporary takes on the country in a fun way.
These three routines could also be completed in unison. Divide the class in smaller groups, provide each group with the images of the collection, and guide each group through one of the routines listed. The result as a class will be a much richer lexicon bank.
Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "See Think Wonder," this activity investigates the cultural connections between Ancient Greece, Rome, and Gandhara* as seen through a sculpture of the Buddha created in the 2nd century CE. Buddhist sculptures from Gandhara are significant not only because they show the extent of Alexander the Great's influence on Asia, but also because they are some of the first human depictions of the Buddha in the history of Buddhist art.
Even without a deep knowledge of the art of this period, students can make visual observations and comparisons that reveal the blending of Asian and Greco-Roman culture in this particular region.
*Gandhara is a region in what is now modern Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Keywords: greek, kushan, mathura, india, inquiry strategy, classical, roman, gautama, siddhārtha, siddhartha, shakyamuni, lakshanas, signs of the buddha
These six images give a glimpse of the damage done during the 1968 riots on U street following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. The images are all attributed to Scurlock Studios, which students will study more in depth in a separate collection.
The two day lesson centered around this collection begins with a gallery walk. The Guiding Question for this lesson are:
-What can primary source photographs tell us about an event in history?
-How did the 1968 riots change Washington DC?
The Big Idea for this lesson is:
One event can have lasting effects on the history of a place.
Each student will have a packet featuring six 'See, Think, Wonder' pages, and a final page titled 'Gallery Walk Debrief.' On Day 1, computers will be set up at six tables throughout the classroom, with all computers on a given table showing one of the six images in the collection. At the teacher's direction, student partnerships will have 3-5 minutes to stop at each station and fill out one of the 'See, Think, Wonder' pages.
At the conclusion of the gallery walk, student will meet with their partner for approximately 3 minutes to discuss the important question on the last page of their packet: 'Based on the images you viewed, how do you think the riots on U Street changed Washington DC?' Once students have discussed, they will have approximately 5 minutes to write at least two sentences in response to this question.
On Day 2 of the lesson, the teacher will use a projectable screen in the class room to walk through the interactive Washington Post article about the 1968 riots, allowing time to pause and watch each embedded video and answer any pressing questions.
At the conclusion of the article, students will spend approximately 5 minutes at their tables discussing how their understanding of the 1968 riots has changed or expanded based on the Washington Post piece. The teacher will then lead a discussion that should convey, at the very least, the following points:
-The U Street riots were widespread and caused major damage to areas of the city including but not limited to the U Street Corridor.
-Many business' in DC were forever wiped out because of the riots and entire neighborhoods took, in some cases, decades to fully recover.
- Martin Luther King's death served as the final straw for many African Americans both in DC and around the country who had long been suffering under the crippling effects of segregation, discrimination, and racism.
- Following the 1968 riots, most white people left the city.
Following the teacher discussion, students will have approximately 5 minutes to write down an answer to the single question on the worksheet titled Washington Post Article Debrief: After viewing the Washington Post article about the 1968 riots, what new information did you learn about how the 1968 riots changed Washington DC?
This is a collection designed to introduce students to the history of aviation as told through the lens of the scientific method-design process. Students begin by thinking about why is flight important in our lives, and how did we get to the airplanes we now know? Students look at the many designs that planes have gone through, and discuss why perseverance and problem-solving are important skills to have. They also see that teamwork, cooperation, and a desire to succeed were necessary for the Wright Brothers to do their important work. Feel free to pick and choose from the resources in creating your own collections:
Overall Learning Outcomes:
- Scientists use trial and error to form conclusions.
- Scientists test hypotheses using multiple trials in order to get accurate results and form strong conclusions.
- Scientists use multiple data and other evidence to form strong conclusions about a topic.
- Scientists work together to apply scientific research and knowledge to create new designs that meet human needs.
- Scientists help each other persevere through mistakes to learn new ideas.
Guiding Questions for Students to Answer from this collection:
- Why is flight important?
- How do scientists solve problems?
- How do scientists collect data to help them solve problems?
Beginning in the late 1940s, the notable African American writer, James Baldwin (1924-1987), lived abroad for much of his life. While acknowledging the benefits of his residence abroad to all of his works and life story, he always considered himself an American living as a “transatlantic commuter.” This Learning Lab Collection asks you to analyze the documents, images, and objects that give insight into James Baldwin's life as transatlantic commuter and to use these objects of Baldwin to understand how they impacted his work and writings.
A downloadable PDF workbook is included. The questions and activities are arranged as they appear in the Learning Lab Collection and are designed to enhance student exploration.
This Learning Lab is a companion piece of the digital NMAAHC exhibition Chez Baldwin.
Keywords: nmaahc, African, american, James, Baldwin, travel, Atlantic, commuter, writing, literature, Paris, New York, France, Turkey, Istanbul, Switzerland, United States, #NMAAHCteach
This module is designed to compliment a unit on Heian Japan or of feudalism in Japan in general. The goal of this collection is to purposely include the role of women within an evaluation of feudal Japanese society and history. The lesson plan highlights Japanese women in leading roles, with a focus on historical representations of women during Heian Japan; it also includes similar examples of female characters from the Kamakura and Edo period. The two main categories of the collection are warriors and noble women, with the inclusion of the writer Murasaki Shikibu and illustrations of The Tale of Genji. The idea is to study ‘women’ as its own historical component, and the group as actors exerting historical agency.
Given that the purpose of this collection is to concentrate on the role of women, it includes artwork that was achieved after the Heian and Kamakura periods and that are representations of salient women from the feudal era.
Lesson plan (3-4 hours)
1. Teacher leads an introduction to the feudal system and its particularities in Japan. If the class is by topics, this discussion could easily stem from a general discussion of feudalism in Europe. In our particular case, we have already discussed feudalism in Europe earlier, and so the teachers highlight parallels between the two systems in order to activate the main keywords of the unit and review ideas of how the feudal economy worked.
2. Students read a textbook chapter on feudal Japan and answer comprehension and analysis questions from the text. Key concepts are established following this reading such as: daimyo, samurai, land distribution, family clans, and feudal social pyramid, among others.
Spielvogel, Jackson J. World History: Journey Across Time. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.
3. In small groups, students analyze original documents from the feudal period. Documents from the book cited below include: the Bushido code, family letters, and excerpts of laws, among other primary sources. Each group of students is in charge of one particular document. Students should identify: main idea, intended audience, who wrote it, and how does this particular document help understand Japanese feudalism. These documents should also help activate many of the key concepts studied earlier. Once all tables have their findings, the class comes together to present and discuss all documents.
Stearns, Peter N. World History in Documents. New York, USA: NYU Press, 2008. Print.
4. Use this collection to shine the light on women during the feudal period. Lead a "Step Inside" routine with the resource "Ohatsu avenging her mistress Onoe."
Students may well have noticed the silence regarding women's role at this point in the unit. In my classes, for instance, students automatically assume that there are working women alongside male merchants and farmers, but they have doubts as to women occupying higher roles in society. This routine can clarify some doubts as to their presence among higher social ranks.
5. Allow students to browse the collection, play one of the videos on female samurais or lead other Project Zero routines with the other paintings of female warriors and writers. Once the class is familiar with the resources in the collection, lead the visible thinking routine "People/Parts/Interactions" to reevaluate society as a whole.
Discuss how their reading of the texts in Step 2 and Step 3 has changed based on this new information. How do they now imagine women in feudal society?
6. Close the unit with the visible thinking routine "Circle of viewpoints." In our class, we use the routine's questions as a prompt for a one-page essay. Students answer the questions of the routine as if they were a person living in feudal Japan; they can choose to write a journal entry or an essay in the third person. Students should use the resources in this collection and in the texts provided to describe the life of their chosen character. This exercise allows students to explore context, society, thoughts, limitations and daily life from the point of view of a historical actor.
Extension activity (1 hour)
Instead of leading a written routine of "Circle of viewpoints" students can create postcards written from the point of view of their historical characters. Students also design the flip side of their postcards and the artwork should illustrate the environment or experiences of their historical character.
This collection is meant to be used in the midst of a unit of Edo Japan. Through the study of new technologies and scientific advances at the time, students can further dive into the Edo national dynamics by means of the developments in science. This module on science and technology is geared towards understanding Edo Japan through inventions and progress other than in the arts, and in unison with the rest of the world, therefore opening discussion as to how closed the country really was.
Numerous technologies are tightly linked to cultural expressions such as theater arts and the ukiyo-e , and therefore, a separate series of lessons on arts and culture during the Edo Period is absolutely necessary following or preceding this lesson. A study of the Edo culture remains a common approach to explore the society in Edo Japan; the study of science and new technologies compliments this analysis, and it will facilitate engaging a wider audience.
The artifacts listed here provide illustrations of cross-cultural developments and technological inventions before the end of the Edo period. Through these resources, the teacher can focus on medical advances, particular inventions such as the Montgolfière or simple robots, greater historical processes such as industrialization or everyday objects such as hairpins and cloth, which were also part of the exchange of ideas.
Analyzing these technological commonalities between Japan and the greater global arena, will provide context for the later discussion of ‘rangaku’ (Dutch studies) during the Edo period.
Lesson plan (2-4 hours)
1. Make the resources and artwork available to the students in preparation for the lesson at least one day ahead of class. These artifacts and texts will serve as a pre-research idea bank and starting point.
2. Teacher can briefly present the material available and prepare a quick lecture or discussion presenting a general overview of science in Japan at the time, or sciences in the world during the same period (e.g. main inventions and discoveries, scientific leaders and award winners, revolutions in science such as the Industrial Revolution.) The lecture could include a brief overview of the state of the social sciences around the world, as well (e.g. theories in psychology, birth of sociology, main theories in anthropology.)
3. Lead the routine "Claim/Support/Question" using the resource "Ukie Edo Nihonbashi Odawaracho uoichi no zu." Discuss the main issues and talking points that surfaced during the routine; tie in the results of the routine with the keywords presented in Step 2.
4. Students explore on their own the resources in the collection and decide on a topic that they would like to research further. A few ideas are: automated technologies, advances in medicine, technology of daily-life objets or technology in the arts. Teacher can also provide research support to guide students into the collection's reading, such as scaffolded questions or a diagram to lead to their preferred topic.
5. Students research the topic of their choice and prepare 10-20 minute presentations on the topic. The goal and format of the presentations can also be defined in class (e.g. slideshow, written piece, a draft for a longer essay, a design technology project...)
At the end of the lesson on Edo culture and science, create a newspaper that covers the main events of the Edo period. Students can write pieces on the area of their choice: politics, science and technology, arts and culture, or even a column on daily life. Teacher can define the word limit and format, topics covered, and members of each newspaper. After editing and correcting the articles, they can be arranged as a real newspaper. The resources in this collection serve as primary and secondary sources for the activity.
*PDF of examples is attached in the collection.
This lesson serves as an introduction to the Edo Period in Japan. The module is centered around the artwork "Southern Barbarians," a folding screen painting depicting the arrival of Portuguese traders to a Japanese port, a common scene previous to the Sakoku (closed country) period. After a close analysis of the folding screen, students contrast the scene depicted in the artwork with the proscriptions of the Sakoku edict of 1635 and the Portuguese exclusion edict of 1639. The stark contrast between these two trade scenarios will help students understand the nuance of the political and economic situation of Edo Japan. Additionally, transitioning from a scene where international trade is robust and ordinary, to the drafting of these two edicts severely curtailing this very trade, will lead students to inquire into the extent, as well as the limitations of the closed country period.
Lesson plan (1 - 2 hours)
1. "Southern Barbarians" illustrates and extends understanding of the ‘Nanbanjin’ as well as Nanban trade previous to Edo Japan. 'Nanbanjin' referred to Southern European, usually Spanish and Portuguese. The teacher will explain the main traits of Nanban art in order to elucidate further details of the artwork other than the ones that the students observe during the routine.
For further reference on Nanban Art, read pages 71-142 of the book referenced here. The text contains multiple other examples of folding screens from the period.
Weston, Victoria. Portugal, Jesuits and Japan: Spiritual Beliefs and Earthly Goods. Chestnut Hill, MA: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2013. Print.
Link to online copy: https://archive.org/details/portugaljesuitsj00west
2. Class completes a 'See, Think, Wonder' routine with the resource "Southern Barbarians in Japan." The artwork is full of details (such as the man carrying fabric from another Asian port because the Portuguese served as relay traders in the region). This routine might take 30 minutes or more to complete for this reason.
As part of a World History class, the teacher could highlight these historic "easter eggs" in the artwork and tie in other topics from class such as cotton and silk trade, slavery, navigation technology, missionaries in the East or the Portuguese empire and extension among other subjects present in the folding screen.
While at first, the Project Zero routines will help to understand the period, the actors and the reasons for drafting the two edicts, the teacher should also emphasize at the end of the routine why this type of art existed and how Japanese viewed Nanban trade. The purpose is to begin the discussion of Edo Japan with an understanding of the complex world of foreign relations, cultural forces and international commerce at the time.
3. Following this analysis, students perform a close reading and discussion of the edicts of 1635 and 1639. The Project Zero routine 'Explanation Game' should help guide the reading of the edicts. Students first read the edicts on their own, clarify obtuse language, and highlight a few proscriptions that they believe define the Sakoku period. Following this, students complete the 'Explanation Game' routine in small groups.
4. At the end of this introductory lesson, the teacher leads a group discussion on the edicts, establishing the main proscriptions and political reasons to ban the Portuguese traders. Teacher should clarify the political and social situation of Japan at the time, the presence of the Spanish and Portuguese traders in neighboring countries and the expansion of their respective empires. If class will continue exploring the nuances of the Edo Period, then the teacher could also briefly explain the difference in operations between the Dutch traders and the Portuguese traders.
Mini-lesson plan (30 minutes)
The remaining resources in this collection allow to further explore the other foreigners in Edo Japan in order to nuance the discussion of international trade and foreign relations during the period. Smaller groups of 3-5 students can analyze separately various ukiyo-e of foreigners, while completing a 'Question Starts' visible thinking routine and discussing their findings at the end of class period with their classmates.
These materials address a unit on resilience and global competence as related to and extended from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. #SAAMteach
After using the "Seven Ways to Look at a Portrait" strategy, students create self-portraits in the style of Kehinde Wiley that incorporates study symbolism, self-identity narrative, and reflection on the poses of traditional American portraiture. This lesson requires access to computer technology, a camera (mobile phone is fine), a green screen background, a green screen phone app or program, and ideally a printer.
This activity will be used to reinforce close reading and analysis of visual text in either a pop culture unit or an identity unit in AP English Language and Composition. The idea is to examine how iconic popular images can be remixed to create new meaning and conversation about identity.
The collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
In this collection, portraits are used for both pre-reading and post-reading activities in connection with reading a biography of Marian Anderson. The pre-reading activity uses Betsy Graves Reyneau's oil on canvas portrait, Marian Anderson, to begin to reveal Anderson to students. Post-reading activities include the use of photographs, video and William H. Johnson's oil on paperboard Marian Anderson to enhance understanding of Anderson's 1939 concert and to informally access student learning.
When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson: The Voice of a Century is a picture book written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick. This biography shares the story of opera star Marian Anderson's historic concert of 1939 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an integrated crowd of over 75,000 people. The book recounts Marian's life as a she trains to become an opera singer and as she struggles with the obstacles she faces in pre-Civil Rights America. This picture book is an excellent choice to use in the upper elementary classroom in the context of a unit that focuses on "challenges and obstacles."
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
In this collection, students will explore an artwork by El Anatsui, a contemporary artist whose recent work addresses global ideas about the environment, consumerism, and the social history and memory of the "stuff" of our lives. After looking closely and exploring the artwork using an adapted version of Project Zero's "Parts, Purposes, and Complexities" routine, students will create a "diamante" poem using their observations of the artwork and knowledge they gained about El Anatsui's artistic influences. Additional resources about El Anatsui, how to look at African Art, and Project Zero Thinking Routines are located at the end of the collection.
This collection was created for the "Smithsonian Learning Lab, Focus on Global Arts and Humanities" session at the 2019 New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Arts Integration Leadership Institute.
Keywords: nigeria, african art, textile, poetry, creative writing, analysis
This collection was created in conjuncture with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.The following collection showcases images of key figures such as Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X from the Civil Rights Movement, particularly on the issues of voting in Alabama. The images and activities showcase the struggle of the march from Selma to Montgomery in an effort to make voting an equal right among all people. This lesson can be used in the social studies classroom for the subjects of Civil Rights, Voting, and Federal Government VS State Government. In addition to the images there are in class activities and thought provoking questions that go along with the visuals to provide for a more engaged learning experience. #NPGteach
This lesson, integrated halfway through F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, will address both character analysis and the ever present theme of appearance vs. reality in the text. By using Thomas Hart Benton's "Self Portrait with Rita" as a starting point students will study the specifics of a self portrait from the 1920s which highlights American dream centered ideals. As a second step, students will make connections between the painting and the characters from our text. As a final extension activity, students will further explore the inspiration, the biography, or another work by Benton.
Opening: Class Discussion: What is a portrait? What are the Elements of Portrayal?
Show Michelle Obama Portrait- Have students work in pairs to come up with a list of things the artist wants us to know about the sitter.
Read Washington Post article - Add any ideas to list
Divide class into 6 groups - Each group is given a group of first ladies. Students should come up with a list of attributes/characteristics/symbols for the group as a whole.
Small groups should then meet together and complete a Venn Diagram to show similarities and differences of the groups to distinguish how portraits may/may not have changed through time. Does this portray how the role of the first lady has evolved over time?
Further questioning: What roles will future first ladies (men, husband, partner) play in the U.S.
Extension activity: Portrait - Create a portrait of someone of importance or even a self-portrait. What style will it be in? How will you use the elements of portrayal?
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
This collection/lesson is designed to compare and evaluate portraiture of Gilded Age Industrialists and of the Founding Fathers. Students will explore different mediums of portraiture and attempt to place these examples of artwork into the legacy that Gilded Age Industrialists hoped to create for themselves. This lesson plan involves close analysis of specific portraits of Andrew Carnegie, a sorting activity, a Google Doc graphic organizer to help students inquire information, and some overarching discussion and analysis questions to help foster class discourse. Each of the sources used in this collection are owned by the National Portrait Gallery, and many - as of 6/27/19 - are currently on display. Some questions to consider as you and/or your students peruse this collection: What does it mean to have a legacy? How are portraiture and legacy connected or related to each other? Why, in an era when photography is en vogue, would an individual choose to have a painting done of them? What would you want a portrait of you to look like?
Lesson Overview: (See Collection or the link below for Full Google Doc Lesson Plan)
CLASS (SUBJECT & LEVEL): High School American History - for an 80 minute block
- Students will closely analyze Gilded Age industrialist portraits in both painting and photograph formats, attempting to understand the legacy that these leaders were trying to create for themselves in the future.
- Students will compare and contrast portrayals of Gilded Age industrialists and the Founding Fathers.
- Students will argue different ideas about portraiture in U.S. History and reach their own conclusions.
CONTENT: Gilded Age Industrialists, Founding Fathers, Portraits and Photos, Source Analysis
This collection is meant to be used as an introductory activity to the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Specifically, it focuses on the different styles employed by artist Aaron Douglas, most notably in his Scottsboro Boys portrait and in his 1925 self-portrait. In doing so, it asks students to consider when and why an artist who is more than capable of creating within the boundaries of classically beautiful art or writing might chose to create in this style at some times and at other times to create in more radical or avante-garde styles. It uses a Compare and Contrast looking technique before revealing to students that all four distinct pieces are created by the same artist.
Ideally, teachers can end the unit by facilitating discussion of the social change Douglas aims for with his Scottsboro portrait and of the bridge that Hurston creates with her prose narrator before launching into the dialect of her characters that earned her such scorn from the African American community of her era.
Time- 2 class periods
Using the Project Zero Design Thinking routines "Parts, People, Interaction", this activity provides an understanding of the system of gender power at stake in the representation of Chapter 34 of Tales of Genji - Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess. It then looks at a modernization of the illustrations and offers a reflection on what the new feminine contemporary perspective brings to the interpretation of the Third princess story.
In exploring the representations of the tales of Genji, students have the opportunity to discover tales that have become a standard for Japanese culture. They look at the first known literature piece written by a woman, who shares a rare and intimate perspective of a woman on a world governed by men. Students compare the representation of the tales from the XVIth century with one from the XXth century to identify in what ways they have been interpreted.
Step 1: Have students sketch The tale of Genji, chapter 34; Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess
Step 2: Debrief as a whole group
Discuss what the students have noticed. Do not show the caption to the students yet. The observational drawing is good to help students pay attention to details and unveil the artist's choices. It also encourages them to initiate a first interpretation.
Step 3: Parts, People, Interaction
Once students have discussed the painting, guide them through the routine "Parts, People, Interaction".
"This thinking routine helps students slow down and look closely at a system ( here the system of gender power.) In doing so, young people are able to situate objects within systems and recognize the various people who participate—either directly or indirectly—within a particular system.
Students also notice that a change in one aspect of the system may have both intended and unintended effects on another aspect of the system. When considering the parts, people, and interactions within a system, young people begin to notice the multitude of subsystems within systems.
This thinking routine helps stimulate curiosity, raises questions, surfaces areas for further inquiry, and introduces systems thinking." (PZ)
Step 4: Read the PDF "More about Chapter 34" and go back to the questions
Have students read the caption, go back and look at the painting and ask them to take notes on how their understanding has shifted from their initial interpretation.
Step 5: Debrief the "Parts, People and Interaction" routine as a whole group:
During the discussion, here are some specific question students may want to address:
- What does the illustration of Chapter 34, Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess says about the system of power gender in place at the Japanese court in the XIth century?
- To what extent the architecture in the painting play a role in facilitating the superiority of men?
- How does the system in place impact relationship between men and women?
Step 1: "See, Think, Wonder" - The third princess with her pet cat, Yamato Maki, 1987
Have them do a quick "See, Think, Wonder" to encourages them to reactivate prior knowledge, pay attention to details and reflect on the effects of the modernization of the illustration of The tales of Genji though manga. Identify the audience and the context of the illustration.
Step 2: Read the caption as a group - notice what is important.
Step 3: "Layers"
This routine will encourage students to refine their first analysis of the illustration by looking at it through different angles (Aesthetic, Mechanical, Connections, Narrative, Dynamic). It will allow them to draw upon their prior knowledge and consider the impact of modernization of art on the public.
Students can work in small group and cover between 3 and 5 of the categories.
Step 4: Each group of students present their learning to the class