Bulb Archived: Lavizzo Collaboration Laboratory 2016-2017: Smith, Ford & Klein

2016-2017 Collaboration Laboratory

1) Big Idea:  Understanding the Journey-Past, Present, and Future

2) Inquiry:

What value does the past have on the future of mankind?

3) Academic Content:

Our quest to integrate SEL (Social Emotional Learning), Art and History into the curriculum to create a real life time-line of African American heritage.  We taught our students about the highs and lows that our ancestors experienced from the beginning of our civilization until the pinnacle  of our industriousness.

4) Artistic Discipline(s):

Drawing-Students created Emojis to describe their feelings about themselves

painting-Students used dot painting to decorate face mask

Sculpture-We made an attempt to make 3-D masks that depict our innermost feelings — a self-awareness sort of project that helps us understand how we think others think about us.

Performing -We designed a theatrical timeline of events that occurred in different eras of our past.  These events helped to mold our opinions about how our ancestors gained and applied strength and tenacity to overcome the woes they faced in times of trouble. 

Excerpt from presentation of Zora Neal Thurston – Harlem Renaissance Figure

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Introduction of the CAPE program and how the Arts were used to bring forth this presentation.

5) Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts):

CCSS: ELA: SL.K.1, W1.1, ELA Lit/History





Poetry recitation


Performing Arts- Relate artistic ideas and works with social, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.

6) What is the context of your school, school neighborhood, or classroom that led you to do this project? (100 words or less)

Our school is located in the heart of the Roseland neighborhood at 109th and Wentworth.  We felt that the children in our demographic area were heavily exposed to negative role models and consequently have difficulty finding value in their own lives.  What better way to increase their awareness and bolster their hope than to show them prodigies of African Americans with similar struggles who made stellar achievements in spite of.

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7) How many years have you worked together as partners?

This is our second year in the CAPE program

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8) What surprised you during the project?

How vested the children were in studying and performing their character roles.   They were charged with the task of selecting and researching their characters.  They had to learn a series of  three poems, four songs, skits, and their Harlem Renaissance figure.

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9) What worked in this project and why?

The production worked from invitation through performance.

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10) What didn’t work and why?

Timing- We went over by about 15 minutes over.  

Documentation- Video Technician was unavailable and so  we had to defer to a student’s taping of the event.

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11) What was your approach to assessment?

We used a formative approach toward our assessment of the presentation by observing the over-arching themes we were exploring: empowerment, self-expression, and confidence.  The passion and certainty through which each student performed confirmed for us that they had a deep level of empathy and knowledge of the plights and successes of the Renaissance Figures.Please insert your response here.

12) Think back to what you each hoped to learn from this collaboration. What did you learn and how? Discuss how you supported each other’s goals. 

In reflection, Mrs. Smith hoped t0 learn how willing and able the little ones were to grasp and remember concepts (such as servitude bondage, freedom, discrimination, liberation, and achievement, etc ).  She found that by using the performance arts, students were more engaged, excited and willing to persevere through the rigor of the content to demonstrate mastery.  Mrs. Ford wanted to deepen her knowledge and appreciation for the arts and understand how it could be useful in teaching content.  Ms. Klein, who has mastery in Art, sought to explore various materials, modalities and styles of art that allowed students to be expressive and uninhibited in their presentations of the content.

13) How did the collaboration challenge your understanding of teaching, learning, and art.

Mrs. Ford: “It helped me to recognize my strengths and weaknesses in the arts. By collaborating, we were able to offset one another’s talents and experiences.  It also forced me to step outside of my comfort zone to serve as a speaker in the final production.”

Mrs. Smith:  “The collaboration challenged my understanding of  the importance of applying multiple modalities in instruction and assessment.  Art is innate, I believe to us all. As educators we must learn to tap this resource and use it to our advantage, whether it be in the delivery, practice, or assessment of curriculum, to optimize the learning experience for students, parents and teachers.”