Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Historical and Cultural Context: Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore Student Work
This section includes samples of student work from Workshop video 6, in which Stanlee Brimberg’s students explored the African Burial Ground and the poetry of Langston Hughes. Samples include:
- Several drafts of one student’s poem. Students were asked to write a poem based on their study of Langston Hughes and the African Burial Ground. (See Teaching Strategies: Connecting Poetry and History.)
- A commemorative stamp design drawn by one of the students after taking a field trip to the African Burial Ground. (See Teaching Strategies: Field Trips.) Students created stamps to memorialize those in the African Burial Ground, including the African slaves of early New York.
As you review the student’s work, consider the following questions:
- What do you notice that this student did well?
- What questions might you ask this student about his or her work?
Poem Draft 1
Poem Draft 2
Workshop 6 Historical and Cultural Context: Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore
Stanlee Brimberg and his students in New York City study the important contributions of African Americans to the United States and the recent discovery of the African Burial Ground in Manhattan through factual texts, video, art, photography, and poetry. The students interview writer, historian, and documentary filmmaker Christopher Moore to learn more about the everyday experiences of African slaves in early New York. They examine the works of Langston Hughes, and then — drawing on all of the texts — they write their own poetry and engage in peer review. As a culminating activity, the students take a field trip to the African Burial Ground Memorial, and then design their own postage stamps to commemorate the site.