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Comprised of eight lesson plans, my unit was designed to create a more vibrant and exciting history class by supporting historical information about colonial America with both paintings and literature. The unit includes historical background that will enable the student to understand the religious, social, and economical perspectives of colonial America. As educators, we must expose children to a variety of modalities in the hope of addressing their multiple intelligences. By integrating art into the literary realm and teaching children to observe, analyze, and synthesize both art and literature, we are broadening their horizons and exposing them to a world that could stimulate their senses and imagination, thus furthering their desire for knowledge.
Students approach text-rendering by making connections, predicting, figuring out, visualizing, noticing, and asking questions. It seems necessary to approach art in a similar manner: children become active participants in the interpretation of art by noticing the images, colors, hues, shading and lighting, figuring out the artist's message, making connections to historical events, personal experiences, literature, and art, asking questions, and predicting. This method will allow students to begin to think about art in a more analytical manner and to actively engage in a quest for knowledge.
(Recommended for Social Studies, grade 5.)