Bulb Archived: Telpochcalli 2018-2019: Oesterlin & Estrada (2018-2019 A/R Partners)


1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project?

We decided to use the Reparations Won Curriculum mandated to 8th and 10th grade CPS Social Studies teachers as part of the Reparations agreement by the Chicago City Council in response to the Jon Burge torture trial.  This curriculum deals with important and controversial issues and wanted to find a way to build on to allow students the time and space to process and express themselves further.  Dana had received training on the curriculum and implemented parts but not the whole curriculum.  William had worked with candidate art teachers in developing art projects that enhanced the curriculum through arts integration.  We decided that implementing this together would be a new way to grow and provide support for us both in asking students challenging and critical questions and to have them reflect on their concepts and experiences of justice. 

Students developed buttons as an initial way to explore ideas and proposal included in the reparations won curriculum.

2. Big Idea: What can reparations look like?  What is the role of the police in the community?

3. Inquiry: How has art been used to mobilize communities? How can students learn about art and activism to build efficacy? How do we raise conscious awareness in our students in building tolerance and acceptance of others. How do art practices amplify students understanding of how they can affect change in their lives?

4. Grade Level: 8th grade

5. Academic Subject(s): Social Studies and Writing

6. Artistic Discipline(s): Postcard, button and sticker making

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:  16 years


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

Through the collective development of ideas, the class generated visual campaigns via postcards, buttons and stickers to address how social themes can impact them and the environment they inhabit. Students researched, interpreted and analyzed contemporary artwork used to address what reparations will look like for torture survivors of Jon Burge and his Midnight Crew. Using the exemplars found, students presented on how the artists’ message informs the audience it’s addressing and its potential impact on them. We created visual campaigns to educate, inform, and explore how we can begin navigating agency and power. Co-teaching strategies included team teaching and teacher/artist led projects along with collaborative (teacher, artist, student) planning and project development. We focused primarily on developing and disseminating postcards that document the research and intentional messages students have created. Art projects developed with the assistance of the students. We also co-developed methods that facilitated learning and understanding of content.

Students listening to the stories of a torture survivor. 

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


Teacher Assessment:

I assessed formally and informally through out the project.  We used the structure of discussion circles to learn and assess informally.  The students also wrote Op-Ed pieces and I used the rubric from the curriculum to see the knowledge they had about the issues and how they were reflecting on it.  The art pieces were assessed informally through the process and we walked around and looked as they worked.  We also asked them to reflect on their own pieces and to think about the messages they were sending and if they were clear.  

The students clearly learned about the history of the John Burge trial.  They also reflected on the complexities of solving the issues around police.  There art projects showed that they know that they have important ideas about this issue and that sharing this thinking can help for the future. 

Students wrote letters inviting a Willis to come share their story with the class. 

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

 CCSS.WHST.9-10.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

  CCSS.WHST.9-10.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. 

 CCSS.RH.9-10.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information. 

 CCSS.RH.9-10.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

  CCSS.SL.9-10.1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 

ISBE Social Emotional Learning Standards 

2A. Recognize the feelings and perspectives of others. o 4a. Analyze similarities and differences between one’s own and others perspectives. o 5a. Demonstrate how to express understanding of those who hold different opinions. o 5b. Demonstrate ways to express empathy for others.

3C. Contribute to the well-being of one’s school and community. o 4b. Plan, implement, and evaluate one’s participation in a group effort to contribute to one’s local community.