Lanetta Wilson, Liz McCarthy, and Timothy Rey
1) Describe the context of your school, neighborhood, or classroom.
Gale is located in the Rogers Park neighborhood.
2) Big Idea: Empathy
3) Inquiry: What’s ours – and the boundaries of mine and yours?
Boundaries in the context of: the written word, social justice, poetry, relationships. Each will be explored within the unit.
- within meaning and how that changes via reinterpretation
- very personal – but building conversations
- blackout poetry – same content, but different/varied interpretations
- looking at ancient whistle examples of the past and thinking about how empathy is used to understand history.
- translating the meaning of form like written language (carry over re-interpretation conversation from blackout poetry)
- Creating whistles with personal symbolic meaning in the form to be played collaboratively as a group.
4) Academic Content(s):
Soial Emotional Leaning/Languge Arts/Visual Arts
5) Artistic Discipline(s): Ceramics/Poetry
Liz McCarthy: Ceramics, Timothy Rey: Poetry
6) Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation)
7) Please describe what you did and what you made for this project:
Timothy Rey: In this project, students revisited the meaning/importance and definition of EMPATHY. What does it mean? What is it important? How does it help us relate to others?
EMPATHY WRITE AROUND: Students engaged in an ‘Empathy Write-Around’ exercise where they wrote down positive aspects they had learned and/or observed from their peers. The ‘Write Around’ pages were exchanged so other students could comment in the same way, and then returned to the original student so they could read the positive attributes their peers saw in them.
BLACK OUT POETRY: Students created Blackout Poems (poetry or images culled from ‘found’ images and/or language and then ‘blacked out’ to create new meaning. Here we explored the definition of ‘Empathy.’ To create the Blackout Poem, students were asked to erase, draw, highlight or block out parts of the defintion. (See Below). In doing so, the definition (what is someone else’s’) becomes theirs by creating a new work. Students then took turns responding to their classmate’s works in a partial Liz Lehrman Performance Response Protocol; answering the question: ‘What did you like in your peer’s Blackout Poem? What stood out to you?’
Liz McCarthy: In this project, students looked at whistles from around the world and considered what they might mean in a past and present cultural context. The theme of empathy was discussed as a tool for trying to understand the objects of past human and what they mean, trying to cultivate cross cultural and transhistorical empathy. Students were then asked to consider how things that represent their own personal identity, and make a whistle that represents that. Students drew an image of their ideas, and translated it into clay whistles.
8.) What did you learn about yourself, your partner(s), and the students? How might what you learned impact your teaching practice?
Liz McCarthy: Lanetta had great control of her class, and was able to keep students on task and invested in the project. Creating classroom structure is something I am not as good at, the content and student inquiry was my main focus. It was really helpful to have Lanetta guiding the general program so students were able to invest themselves, rather then becoming distracted by their peers and other stimulus. Lanetta was also able to translate bigger ideas to her class base on other content they had been discussing.
Timothy Rey: I too found Lanetta’s control and interest in her student’s prior and growing knowledge base, helpful to completing this unit. It helped us all focus on the pojects at hand.
9.) How did the collaboration challenge your understanding of teaching, learning, and art-making?
Liz McCarthy: I was challenged to consider collaboration and translation involved in teaching vs. art making. How does an artist enhance or disrupt the class structure which is tightly packed, and how can that be helpful to the curriculum? In teaching, there is an explicit agenda about the final learned result, in art making the result is many times more ambiguous and emphasizes the process.
Timothy Rey: It is always interesting to observe and engage with a classroom teacher in the Arts. Our time was limited, yet the learning and artmaking were all very possible and were completed to shared desires. What appeared as a challenge, may have made for a more dynamic ‘making’ process.