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Found 59 Collections


"Cape Cod Morning": A Study in Perspective and Mood in Art and Literature

This collection represents a series of lessons associated with a set of three Hopper Paintings


Kathleen Dollard

"She had an Inside and an outside now": Pre-reading strategies for Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

This lesson serves as a pre-reading/activating activity for Zora Neale Hurston's novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God." Ideally, it should be delivered before students have gained exposure to the text ( and before they have read a summary). In this activity, students will use VTS protocols on "Portrait of Mnonja" by Mickalene Thomas and "SOB, SOB" by Kerry James Marshall to explore themes related to the text and to anticipate Hurston’s complex characterization of Janie Crawford, the protagonist of the novel.

Students will have a chance to engage with literature and anticipate Huston's style in the second half of the activity by engaging in a "Think-Pair-Share" with an out of context quotation from the novel. The student pairs will combine their literary analysis with their visual analysis to determine which quotations should be collaged with each painting, and they will have the opportunity to share out and justify their opinions.

Learning Targets:
1)Students can use visual art to practice their ability to close-read and unpack
2)Students can synthesize multi-media resources to develop opinions
3)Students can use visual art to anticipate themes and characterization in "Their Eyes Were Watching God"


18th Century American Identity and the Common Man

This collection includes resources that help students to draw conclusions about the "common man" and determine how American identity changed during the mid-18th Century United States. The lesson is centered around "Independence" and supporting documents include "Daniel la Motta", "Self Reliance", and Turner's Frontier Thesis. To see full lesson plan, click on "collection info".
Julie Thoma

A Just Society

This collection, first of all, is a work in progress and may change as time goes on. The collection includes pieces that are meant to prompt students to think how to create a "just society" and potential consequences when those ideals don't become reality. #SAAMteach

Nikysha (Nikki) Gilliam

AIA: Art Challenging Urban Single Stories: Part 1

By using Chimamanda Adichie's "The Dangers of a Single Story" as a lens, students will begin to analyze how urban artists draw awareness to single stories and challenge them through their artwork. 

Topics and Hashtags
Urban Art, Stereotypes, Art, Social Action, Social Justice, Cities, City, Down These Mean Streets, Maristany #SAAMteach

Abi Wilberding

American Revolution

Lesson plan for 5th grade (90 minutes) for use with Mike Wilkins Preamble, Schoolhouse Rock video, etc. #SAAMteach


Analyzing Cultural Identity

The following lesson is intended for high school students in an ICT English Language Arts classroom.

By the end of the lesson, students (ages 14-18), will be able to determine a central idea about identity by analyzing multiple texts. Students will apply their understanding of artwork (George Catlin's "Wi-jún-jon, Pigeon's Egg Head (The Light) Going To and Returning From Washington") to one or more poems that share conflicting themes of identity. Students are assessed on their ability to create claims, support claims with evidence, synthesize information from multiple sources, and develop a central idea about identity.

Nick Verrillo

Arguments to meditate: an introduction through American Art

This collection is for use with an introductory lesson for a 12th-grade rhetoric course's unit on "arguments to meditate," which are defined in the text "Everything's an Argument" by Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz as, to paraphrase, those arguments which are abstract and/or which lack a clear, explicitly stated thesis and that therefore depend on thoughtful meditation by the audience to arrive at an understanding of the rhetorician's intent. The purpose of this lesson is to (1) establish students' understanding of the definition of an argument to meditate and (2) provide students with a beginning ability to assess the thesis and supporting ideas that comprise arguments to meditate in the form of American Art. The details of the lesson itself are included in a document within the collection.


Marshall Harris

Black Boy

Artworks to be used to with Black Boy, by Richard Wright, his autobiography which chronicles his search for identity while growing up in the Jim Crow South.


Joseph Crumb



Mexican farm worker labor


Braceros & House on Mango Street

English, Hispanic History, House on Mango Street, Braceros, Hispanic American, American History, camps, workers, labor, Latino Americans, Sandra Cisernos, Domingo Ulloa


Brittni Doyle

Brother Against Brother

Collecction of paintings and photos to be used in conjunction with a variety of Civil War era works of literature, specifically those featuring elements of the following literary movements:

* Realism

* Naturalism

* Impressionism

Works to be used in conjunction with artistic examples include:

1. Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce

2. An Upturned Face, by Stephen Crane

3. An Episode of War, by Stephen Crane


Annette Spahr

Changing Perspectives on Work in America

This is a collection that allows students to examine the role of the worker in the American Experience and how it has changed over time. #SAAMteach

Anne Marie Hudak

Changing Places and Never Let Me Go

Hey Guys!

I know you are so excited to be back at school and thrilled to be in AP Language.  

Here is your challenge for the day.  

1. You are going to look at a series of photos today taken at the same location over multiple years. The photos are in chronological order.  Take your time to look at each photo carefully to spot the changes that you see.  Look at each photo individually and then look at the series as a whole. At the end of the series, I will ask you some questions about what you saw.  You will have 20 minutes to complete this assignment.  Be prepared to share with your neighbors some of what you experienced.


Michelle Fortier

Community Identity - Space, Place, and "Fences"

Tool for exploring themes surrounding community identity, race, gender, segregation, and gentrification.  Suggestion to specifically pair with Lorraine Hansberry's  A Raisin in the Sun.


Katie Puszka

Complications of Mobilizing the American Homefront 1942-1945


This collection examines artwork paired with both primary and secondary sources  that illustrates the complications of mobilizing the American homefront between 1942-1945.  


Creating Our Footprint: Art and the Environment

Senior English: Great Outdoors Unit

Objectives: Students will do a close reading of Samuel Colman's Storm King on the Hudson and analyze the elements present in the artwork, in order to come to a conclusion about its major themes. These major themes will then form an introduction to the 10-week Great Outdoors Unit we will be studying.

Additional activities in this unit:

--A close reading of the introduction to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring;

--One artwork analysis technique to discuss Alexis Rockman's Manifest Destiny

--A different artwork analysis technique to discuss/compare "A General View of the Falls of Niagara" and "Niagara Power Plant" (make local connection) OR "The Rouge: Detroit, MI" and Automotive Industry

--Socratic Seminar to discuss, analyze & conclude ideas from the above.

--Common Core assessment: Synthesis essay which uses ideas from both literary texts and 2 different art forms (mural/painting, photography) to illustrate a central idea about the effect of industrialization on the natural world.

--Multi-genre study: Discuss 1) Midway film trailer, 2) TED Talk by Captain Charles Moore "Seas of Plastic" on the Great Garbage Patch and 3) recycled ocean trash sculptures from the Washed Ashore Project by Angela Hazeltine Pozzi. Conclude with a research-based speech/Student TED Talk on issues facing the ocean environment.


Cheryl Donovan

Dual Identity Project

Students will use George Catlin's "Wi-jun-jon, Pigeon Egg Head (The Light), Going to and Returning from Washington" and a sketch from Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" to explore how communities and others' perceptions can affect our identities. Students will end this study by creating their own dual identity project.

This project is intended for 8th or 9th grade students who are reading "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie. However, there are ideas on how to adapt this project to a variety of different situations in the "Adaptations" section of the Lesson Concept document.

This project is broken down into a 4 stages:
Day 1: Analyze Catlin's "Wi-jun-jon," make claims and support them, and connect the portrait back to "Absolutely True Diary."
Day 1/Day 1 HW: Read "How to Fight Monsters," make a claim about the dual identity portrait and support it, complete the Dual Identity Preparation Sheet.
Day 2: Discuss the dual identity, view an example project, brainstorm requirements, review the assignment, and begin working.
Day 3/Project Due Date: Discuss what makes identity complicated and how Catlin and Alexie express this in their portraits.

Sydnee Lindblom

Frankenstein - Novel to Film - Film to Graphic Art & Classic Halloween Costume

Published nearly 200 years ago, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" has not only stood the test of time, but clearly evolved and changed in response to cultural influences. One prime example would be the lasting imprint left by Boris Karloff's interpretation of the "Creature" - which, with his portrayal - assumed the name of Shelley's original "mad scientist." #SAAMteach

Annette Spahr

Gender Inequality and Identity: Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York) 1918

This collection includes a multi-day lesson plan built around Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York), 1918, and is designed to explore the effect that gender inequality can have on identity. Lessons are designed for an eleventh-grade, American Studies, Humanities-style course, and the historical context is the Gilded Age and the Women's Suffrage Movement. The plan for this mini-unit includes the analysis of visual, literary, and historical texts, and while it has a historical context, the goal is also to make connections to American life today. The essential question for this mini-unit is this: How can unfair gender norms affect what it feels like to be a human being? Included, you will find a lesson plan as well as digital versions of the artistic, literary, and historical texts needed to execute that plan. #SAAMteach

William Connell

Iceman Crucified #4

Reading American Culture Through the Lens of Various Texts

Read, write, and think like a college-bound high school student!


Kim Frazier

Industry in America



Interacting with Our Environment: Whose Home Is It?

Photos and paintings of Algonquin Provincial Park are grouped with Tom Uttech's "Mamakadendagwad."  What is the impact when someone or something enters an environment or ecosystem?  Lesson could be an introduction for multiple content areas.  In science, students could study mammals, birds, and insects of Ontario, Canada; ecosystems; and invasive species. In history, what is the wilderness? It could be paired with Charle C. Mann's argument about Native American and European impact on land in Jamestown.  It could also be paired with Juane Quick-to-See Smith's painting "State Names" to consider how humans name places they settle.  English students could extend the discussion by reading Iroquois creation myths and Joseph Bruchac's "Snapping Turtle."  #SAAMteach

Deborah Howe
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