Migrations: The World in My Community
Fourth Grade Challenge Unit
This fourth grade enrichment unit shifts the focus of inquiry from students' self-expression to an appreciation of the expression of others. In the K-3 enrichment units students explored their self-awareness and ways to use language, science, technology, and art to describe their relationship to the world and appreciate what makes us the same and different. This unit specifically addresses how literary, visual, and performance artists see, describe, and evoke the world. Targeted instruction addresses the literary concepts of metaphor and simile and how this extends to music, art, and dance through literal and symbolic forms of art.
This unit also focuses on an important moment in national and state history - the Harlem Renaissance. Students come to understand, appreciate, and evaluate the artistry of a broad range of artists: Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglass, Ella Fitzgerald, Jacob Lawrence, Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington. Students compare and contrast political revolutions (American Revolution) with cultural revolutions (Harlem Renaissance) to understand the core concept of revolution as a radical change in the way we do things.
What is the role of an artist?
How does an artist differ from a scientist?
What is the difference between something that is described and something that is evoked?
By the conclusion of this unit students will be able to -
1. Distinguish between literal and metaphorical expressions.
2. Generate similes and metaphors that express familiar experiences.
3. Identify the artwork of at least three artists from the Harlem Renaissance.
4. Define the Harlem Renaissance and its cause (the Great Migration, industrialization, racism).
Social Studies - Migration, NYS History, American and industrial revolution, urbanization
English Language - Reading Street Unit 1 - This Land Is Your Land
Mathematics - Data and graphing
Science - Energy and machines; African American scientists
The emphasis of this unit is on the formalization and application of students understanding of symbolic language. Explicit instruction is provided in teaching students how to speak and write in metaphors and similes and how to distinguish between descriptive and factual models of writing and artistic expression.
Video and audio production are taught and applied to support students' multimedia awareness of art and expressive practices.