Bulb Archived: Camras 2018-2019: Baez and Qureshi (2018-2019 A/R Partners)


1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project? (Please describe the context of your project, this can include influence from previous projects, context of your school, community, etc.):

As a teaching artist I’m always looking for new ways or tools to teach art so that it naturally resonates with young peoples lives. Technology is such an important part of students lives yet some students have more access to technology than others. Marilyn and I look for ways to integrate art and technology so that students are not just passive users of technology but have opportunities to question that technology. We began working with  SCRATCH block coding and Language Arts last year. By contrasting the language of coding (block coding) with language arts (narrative structure) it allowed the students to think critically about animations and the coding they were somewhat familiar with. Marilyn and I are were excited too because block coding was new to us and we were learning with the students. This year we wanted to build on that existing collaboration so we could go deeper. 

students design their own unique sprites/characters for their animations
students create a large mindmap of community issues and problems and how they are interconnected 
students create individual mindmaps on a community issue that they would like to highlight

2. Big Idea:

Animating Social Issues 

Students writing block coding

3. Inquiry:

How can students become agents for change through digital animation and storytelling? 

4. Grade Level:

7th Grade

5. Academic Subject(s):

Language Arts

6. Artistic Discipline(s):

Digital animation

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:

4 years 

8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project:

Having done a similar project last year, this year we wanted to dig deeper by looking at the unit through the lens of systems. We initially brainstormed community issues that were important to the students and then broke down the issue into the smaller elements that made up the whole. By looking at the community issue/problem in this way some students were able to think about the issue in a complex and nuanced way. 

Before creating digital animations, students drew out storyboards. This stage of the project allowed the students to use the narrative arc to develop their stories and characters. 
Students shared their storyboards with their classmates to get peer feedback. 

9. How did you share your student’s learning process with your school faculty or community?

We encouraged students, teachers and parents to attend Convergence. At the beginning of our collaboration we emphasized that the students had a unique opportunity to exhibit their work in a gallery and gave out several reminders throughout the collaboration. Final pieces were shared with the grade-level in a “gallery walk” type of setting. The school faculty was invited to Convergence and they saw pictures of the art work through the weekly memo.

Teaching Artist Assessment:

How did you assess student arts learning?: (ex. Was it formative or summative? Was it a written, verbal or performative based assessment? Were students provided with teacher or peer feedback? Did you use a rubric or portfolio system? Etc.)

We used two different forms of summative assessments – animation rubric and student artist statement. 

Animation rubric 
Student artist statement

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?

What did you learn from analyzing the student assessments that informs your Arts teaching practice?

Students’ perspectives about their animation skills grew considerably. On the Animation Rubric students stated that they now felt proficient in their ability select characters and settings to fit their storylines. Some students stated their skills at including original artwork that is central to then story are now exceptional. However, a small number of students felt their animating skills are still developing. 

Some of the students artist statements revealed how they used different strategies to problem solve challenges they faced. For example one student described how she created her own sprite (the digital characters on SCRATCH) because the sprites available didn’t fit with the character she had in mind. Going forward I would like to be more mindful of emphasizing or making visible the students thinking process to them and to the entire class. Using Studio Habits of Mind (which I’ve recently observed being used by an art teacher in the art room) seems like a great framework to making the students thinking visible.  


Students were also given pre and post-tests to assess their understanding of digital storytelling and systems thinking. 

When compared to their pre-test, the students demonstrated substantial growth in their understanding and application of the two.

Illinois Arts Learning Standards Addressed:


Anchor Standard 10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. Enduring Understanding: Personal and cultural experiences affect and are affected by how media artworks are made and interpreted. Essential Questions: (a) How do we relate knowledge and experiences to understanding and making media artworks? (b) How do we learn about and create meaning through producing media artworks?

7th MA:Cn10.1.7

a. Access, evaluate, and use internal and external resources (for example, experiences, interests, research, exemplary works) to inform the creation of media artworks.

Teacher Assessment:

How did you assess student academic content learning?: (ex. Was it formative or summative? Was it a written, verbal or performative based assessment? Were students provided with teacher or peer feedback? Did you use a rubric or portfolio system? Etc.)

I used a narrative writing rubric to assess the students’ ability to create a narrative story using the narrative arch as a guide to include all parts of a narrative in their stories.

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?

Students learned the components of a narrative story through the use of the narrative arch. They were able to demonstrate mastery in developing well-structured event sequences. They did struggle a bit on the grammatical portion of the rubric.


Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, SEL, Etc.): 


Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).


Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.