"If the purpose of education is to develop the mind and capabilities of every child, it is very clear to me that music has a unique and necessary role to play." -Donald Hodges, UNCG
In music class we get to create and explore and inspire learning in a way that other classes just aren't able to.
These days teachers need to teach more than just content in their classes, and students need to learn skills that go far beyond the classroom. Through the lens of music, we can touch on so many different issues and themes to expose learners to a whole world of information they might otherwise be missing in their day-to-day classes.
Our school is an urban K-8 charter school in Chicago's Irving Park neighborhood and part of the Chicago International Charter School network. We're managed by a non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting and serving kids from traditionally underserved backgrounds.
As part of an arts based approach to learning, I want to teach a unit about Global Citizenship using graphic novels. Students will choose novels and form small literature circles, reading and discussing their texts in class. This collection of novels offers 4 different journeys, each about their own country and culture, yet they all share common themes.
Graphic novels are an amazing tool that lets us examine difficult content, while immersing ourselves in the journey of another.
These award-winning novels offer glimpses into the personal journeys of young students from around the world. Our goal is to learn about the country and culture of the author, while drawing parallels to our own lives. We'll achieve this through small group discussions that center around understanding and empathy, citing points from directly from their texts. Furthermore, the novels will remain part of our school library to be used by students and teachers alike for years to come.
Graphic novels have been called the “grand equalizers” of literacy, because struggling and strong readers alike can enjoy and discuss them on a level playing field. Graphic novels also support ELL readers. They (literally) illustrate figures of speech and cultural norms. They make vocabulary and content more accessible. Incorporating graphic novels into content area studies can boost student engagement and understanding. Finally, they provide an easy entry point into the complex topics that these novels discuss.
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