|Aaron Douglas, Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction, 1934|
The fifth graders are finishing up their 10 week course on American Art. I modeled the second half of the course after the current Art Institute of Chicago exhibition that showcases art by Grant Wood, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper and Aaron Douglas. When we got to Aaron Douglas and the Harlem Renaissance, I couldn't find any lesson plans I liked online. I decided to have the students study his work and to find common elements. We picked 4 goals to make work in his style: a monochromatic color scheme, concentric circles highlighting a focal point, silhouettes telling a story, and three distinct layers of value. I had them choose a struggle for people in common current events, and I let them choose from a list of topics or come up with their own. This was complex for 5-8th graders, but they had some strong work. Here are some samples that impressed me!
|One more by Aaron Douglas that was an inspiration to the students.|
|Maryann, Grade 8|
|Jackie, Grade 8: Showing a bridge going over the Mexico/US border and a political rally.|
|Giana, Grade 5: Showing refugees seeking homes.|
|Kevin, Grade 5: Showing a bald eagle overcoming Donald Trump|
|Aria, Grade 5: Showing Hillary Clinton speaking to a crowd.|