Tell Me a Story An Interdisciplinary Unit connecting English Language Arts with Visual Art for 8 th graders.
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Tell Me a Story
An Interdisciplinary Unit connecting English Language Arts with Visual Art for 8th graders
Joseph Cornell "Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny."--Carl Schurz, Address, Faneuil Hall, Boston, April 18, 1859. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man. 1958. Mixed Media.
Eighth grade is a turning point in the life of a young adolescent. Middle school is coming to an end and the students will soon be entering High School. The student becomes a teenager in the eighth grade and attempts to leave “childhood” behind with this new title. In this same sense, it is a time when children’s stories are no longer read, and a different kind of story begins to be appreciated. Students study myths, biographies, and works of fiction geared to send a mature message to young adults. This unit is designed to accompany the English Language Arts curriculum and teach visual methods to portray the different kinds of stories the students have been reading. It examines the many ways in which artists, both of fine and written arts, tell stories.
Betye Saar, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima, 1972, Mixed Media Assemblage
Marmaduke, Brad and Paul Anderson, 2011
Joseph Cornell, Bel Echo Gruyere, 1939, mixed media.
State Standards Addressed
Kara Walker, Ancient Greek, Roman & European works
Illustrating Myths & Fables
Finding the Moral of the Story
Tell Me a Story
Fiction in Four Frames
My Story; My Box
Inventing a Character
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Trenton Doyle Hancock & Marvel Comics
Collecting symbolic objects & images
Combining collage & assemblage: My Box
Joseph Cornell & Betye Saar
Creating a four-frame comic strip
1: Illustrating Myths and Fables
In this lesson, students will discover how to illustrate a scene from a myth or fable though investigating artworks from our past. They will explore the moralistic quality of such stories and bring out the moral/message in their own watercolor painting.
Maurice Denis, Orpheus and Eurydice, 1910, Oil on Linen
Linda Kay, Aesop’s Fable: The Wolf and The Kid, 2009, watercolor
2: Fiction in Four Frames
Charles M. Shultz, Peanuts, comic strip
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes, 2011, web comic
3: My Story; My Box
Becky Peabody, Memories of Last Summer, 2006, Mixed Media
Becki Smith, Choose Wisely, 2009, mixed media
Frank Turek, Lonely Man, 2007, mixed media
Conclusion & Assessment
Students will be able to represent and understand different methods of story telling in both visual and written means. They will revisit the genres of fable, myth, narratives, and fiction that they explored in language arts. Students will be assessed based on their knowledge, effort, behavior, and understanding. This will be decided by class observation and discussion as well as by personal interaction with the teacher.
Linda Kay, Aesop’s Fable: The Wolf and The Kid, 2009, Watercolor