During the second week, students navigate the present by inquiring, “Who am I?” The text, The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald, guides us in the topic exploration of internal beauty and its importance over the image of external beauty projected by society. Students spend time drawing and writing about the best part of themselves and how they are able to contribute to the broader community through these features. The following day students watch an Ellen clip that addresses the nonsensical standards and definitions surrounding beauty in our world today. Doing it only as Ellen can, through humor, viewers see the superficiality placed on beauty through marketing, and what it means to look at and for beauty through more authentic means. After viewing, students get in small groups to discuss what beauty means to them, how are there different ways to be beautiful, is beauty important, and where is beauty found in your everyday life. The following day, two of those questions are brought into the socratic seminar for even deeper discussion. The two questions are–what does beauty mean to you and beyond yourself, where do you find beauty in your everyday life? This socratic seminar leads into the collaborative group work at the end of the week, which again culminates with several potential products. The first is students recording themselves on video recording site, Flip Grid, to share their answers and discussion points from their small group and socratic seminar discussions from the previous day. If you have not used Flip Grid before it is incredibly user friendly and allows a space for students to outline their notes/thoughts on screen to reference as they record themselves, making the recording feel more natural and authentic.
To connect to week one, students work with the art teacher to create a class mural representing each person’s skin tone through a painted handprint. In this activity, students mix the three primary colors–red, yellow and blue–to create their unique skin tone. Finding it’s not possible, the colors white, brown, and black are added for shading. As students find it necessary to use 4-5 colors to create their skin tone they realize none of us can be labeled by a single color and, that just like fingerprints, no two skin tones are the same. Two additional books that can lead into the paint project are Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler. Then using their skin tone paint, they also create a self portrait, highlighting what makes them beautiful, referring back to the work done at the beginning of the week with Wendy Ewald’s text, The Best Part of Me. In addition to the self portrait, they also write creatively about the best part of themselves. These are hung about the room for a gallery walk, offering the opportunity for their peers to provide feedback and see the work of each student. Some teachers have even published them into their own classroom version of the Best Part of Me and put that book in their classroom library. Having established a strong sense of identity over the past two weeks, students enter week three empowered to take action.
Thank you for listening, and we hope you join us again tomorrow for the final curriculum episode where we’ll review week 3. Unrelated to that, I do think there was something funky going on with my sound tonight and I couldn’t get it fixed, so if you had trouble hearing any parts of this know that I’ll post the transcript to the blog and you can find the information there too along with the resources and student work mentioned here. Again the blog URL is http://www.kckidsunite.blog. I hope you’ll check it out. Thanks!
Ellen Clip: https://youtu.be/BCMr6BZFHzo