Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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  Connecting With The Arts Home   A Teaching Practices Library, 6-8
   
  Watching the Video
  Connecting to your Teaching
  Addtional Resources
  About the School
  Q and A with Teachers
   
  Program at a Glance
  School: FAIR School
(Fine Arts Interdisciplinary
Resource School)
 
  Location: Crystal, MN
 
  Grade: 8
 
  Disciplines: Visual Art
Dance
Music
Theatre
Language Arts
Social Studies
 
  Description: Students explore ideas of conflict and protest through original artwork.
 
 
 

Finding Your Voice

Boy posing with self-portrait Program Summary
Drawing on themes of conflict and genocide that eighth-graders are studying in their World Cultures class, four arts teachers organize an interdisciplinary unit that encourages students to use their artwork as a form of protest.
 
Preview the Program Student Work Gallery
 
   
  The Integrated Instruction
 
   
Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet, Visual Art Teacher
The important concept tying this interdisciplinary arts unit together is protest, though we’re calling it “Finding Your Voice.” I asked the students to think about how art can be used to change society. I had given this assignment before, and the surprising thing is how much deeper and more emotionally significant the art is now that the students have studied genocide in their World Cultures class.
 
Cathryn Peterson Cathryn Peterson, Language Arts Teacher
In World Cultures we spend about ten weeks studying conflict, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. We focus on the idea of culture throughout the entire year, and we try to focus on teaching kids about that in terms of history, art, literature, and their own personal experiences with the world.
 
Robert Prater Robert Prater, Social Studies Teacher
In eighth grade, the students technically have an English and social studies class separately, but we teach them together all year as World Cultures. With this unit we want them to see that conflict, war, and genocide were once the norms in society, and that people accepted it. Now we look at it differently and try to move the world to better places. And students have an important voice in that.
 
Stephanie Johnson Stephanie Johnson, Dance Teacher
The information that’s taking place downstairs in their World Cultures class follows them upstairs to the dance studio naturally. Some of the discussions down there get really heated, and I know that they really like to have a place to put that, in dance class or music class. The assignment in dance was for the students to find something that gets their goat, something that gets their blood boiling.
 
Melissa Brunkan Melissa Brunkan, Music Teacher
We experimented with compositions in dance and in music and saw where there were commonalities between them. One of the joint works is based on anger and starvation – the students have used ideas that they feel passionate about! It’s interesting to see their ideas come together.
 
Adam Hegg Adam Hegg, Theatre Teacher
I selected a piece for the eighth-graders based on the genocide unit. It's called I Never Saw Another Butterfly, and it’s about the children at a concentration camp and what they did in order to survive. The students are realizing what life was like for these people and they’re putting real life experiences behind what they’re learning about in their World Cultures class.
   
     

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