The students in our school community (grades 9-12) are wonderfully unique. They encompass a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas all of which help create a diverse learning environment.
Many of our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and do not have access to the privileges that many teenagers take for granted.
Our students, like all students, deserve learning opportunities and access to information to help them become successful, contributing members of society. Our students are full of passion, energy, and excitement. They take pride in their successes, especially when overcoming obstacles.
I teach a Young Adult Literature course with a heavy emphasis on individual identity. Students get to choose the books that they read. I try to offer a variety of texts through which every student can make personal connections to their own identities while developing a greater sense of self through exploration of the characters. I also have the good fortune of having a fine arts teacher in our school assist in our classroom two to three times a week. Her creative, artistic energy has opened up new ideas of infusing the idea of self-identity through creative expression.
Combining visual arts with studies in humanities can offer a rich opportunity for students to explore and express identity.
Gelli printing is a very forgiving and accessible form of visual arts, opening a doorway to experimentation of art materials while reflecting on how to visually represent and express one’s identity. It is a trendy and current form of printmaking that affords endless creative possibilities, making it a perfect medium for student in an English class. Gelli printing is a perfect medium for a literature class because it doesn't require prior knowledge or skill. Anyone can explore, get creative, and have fun while communicating ideas learned in literature to an artistic representation of self-identity.
Students will be able to bring in objects from their lives and printouts of silhouettes of images important to them combined with the objects listed (ex: stencils and feathers) to add texture and interest. Students use the plates, paint, and objects to create layers of interest that press and transfer to paper - all of which will tell a story about who they are. And the best part...they're reusable! Students can use the gelli plates and most of the supplies in future classes in future years!
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