Post by Classroom 2.0 participant Emily.
Currently working on the details of the "Paul Revere - Ultimate Citizen" [working title] project launch. On May 18th, I'll be bringing 50 - 5th graders to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to check out their "New Americas Wing," specifically the Paul Revere collection. This includes a print of his "Boston Massacre" cartoon etching, many of his silversmith items including the Liberty Bowl, and the Copley portrait of the legend himself. Students will mill around and check out the goods to get an idea of how he used his talents to foster the development of a New Nation. After spending a few class periods researching Revere, students will then think about ways they can use their talents/interests to make their community a better place. (e.g. If you like talking about politics in current events, you could volunteer for a local campaign by holding signs at a polling location.)
In addition to pulling this project together, I'm planning an EdLab inspired close to the poetry unit that I'm currently. This will also occur while the students are at the MFA. Throughout the unit, students have learned about figurative language through the use of many visual artists (e.g. onomatopoeia + Roy Lichtenstein). They have also used artwork by Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, and Katsushika Hokusai as inspiration for their original poems. The students have expressed how much they enjoy learning about an artist, learning about a type of poetry, then merging the two while using a work of art as inspiration. When reflecting on the latest poetry project [Marc Chagall + similes & metaphors], one student shared the following, "I really liked being given the freedom to interpret the painting how I wanted to... there wasn't one right way - I didn't have to do it exactly how the teacher expected it to be done - I was able to just, well, be creative. And I liked that!" What an awesome metacognitive moment for an 11-year-old to have!
While at the museums, they will be given missions to create on-the-spot poems inspired by works of art in assigned rooms. The rooms were chosen to match poetry styles. For example, modern art will go along with the use of onomatopoeia; Asian art will inspire haikus; Impressionist works will serve as a starting point for a stanza poem with rhyme scheme. The poems will be created in 20 minutes or less. Chaperones will videotape the students reading the poems in front of the work of art. We'll do something with the data afterward, but I haven't thought that far [suggestions welcomed].
Feeling a little overwhelmed with all the details that need to come together in the next two weeks, but I'm also not really willing to let go of any of my ideas. We'll see if anything falls off the draft board as time winds down...