Mapping Your Identity
Upper Elementary/Middle School
Characteristics of the Learner:
The students should already have a basic understanding of internet research skills and basic art elements.
The students will research and look at multiple types of maps of any places they so choose, using the internet or library books through a class trip to the computer lab or library. They will then choose a type of map they like best aesthetically, whether it is a satellite view or some other view. The students will have to brainstorm in their sketchbooks a list of characteristics and beliefs, values, and mores that make up who they are as a person. The basic question needing to be answered is, “What makes me unique from others around me?” The students will then have to create a map of their identity based on their map research and list of individual characteristics. This map may include pictures, images, words, lines or other items deemed artistically and educationally appropriate. The idea is for the students to create an attractive composition with mapping components expressing their unique identities through art characteristics and mediums.
The key to teaching this lesson successfully is to ask lots of open ended questions that encourage student inquiry about themselves. This lesson should encourage student’s exploration of their identity. This lesson could be used part of a larger unit of study dealing with identity, the different components and organizations that help to form identities, and the different types of organizations and identities that exist among larger and larger groups of people and places within the world. This lesson lends itself well to geographical issues, economic issues, cultural issues, and math graphing concepts for communicating information through graphic representations.
Big Idea: CRITICAL THINKING AND REFLECTION
Enduring Understanding 1: Cognition and reflection are required to appreciate, interpret, and create with artistic intent. (VA.68.C.1)
1. Apply a range of interests and contextual connections to influence the art-making and self-reflection processes. (VA.68.C.1.1)
Enduring Understanding 3: The processes of critiquing works of art lead to development of critical-thinking skills transferable to other contexts. (VA.68.C.3)
Big Idea: SKILLS, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCESSES
Enduring Understanding 1: The arts are inherently experiential and actively engage learners in the processes of creating, interpreting, and responding to art. (VA.68.S.1)
1. Manipulate content, media, techniques, and processes to achieve communication with artistic intent. (VA.68.S.1.1)
Enduring Understanding 3: Through purposeful practice, artists learn to manage, master, and refine simple, then complex, skills and techniques. (VA.68.S.3)
Big Idea: ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Enduring Understanding 1: Understanding the organizational structure of an art form provides a foundation for appreciation of artistic works and respect for the creative process. (VA.68.O.1)
4. Create artworks that demonstrate skilled use of media to convey personal vision. (VA.68.O.1.4)
By the end of this lesson students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate the ability to identify and utilize multiple computer mapping programs as well as online mapping resources and resources found in the library by printing out maps from various approved websites and making notes about mapping characteristics in their sketchbooks.
2. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate themselves and reflect on personal preferences and beliefs by making notes about themselves in their sketchbooks and contributing to a class discussion about different beliefs and values related to different cultures and individuals.
3. Demonstrate their ability to use particular mediums to illustrate their identity map by choosing a medium to create a map.
4. Demonstrate their ability to create a map using whatever medium they find appropriate.
5. Demonstrate their understanding of mapping characteristics by incorporating mapping characteristics into their final Identity Maps.
6. Demonstrate their ability to verbalize decisions they made to help illustrate their identity within the map
7. Demonstrate their knowledge of aesthetics in the choices they make to create the composition with mediums utilized.
The materials necessary to teach this lesson are as follows: Sketchbooks, computers, library books or books of maps provided by the teacher, different media such as paints, magazines, drawing utensils, markers, scissors, glue, rulers, paper or other items suggested by individual students and approved by the teacher.
The teacher must talk to the social studies teachers to find out the current level of mapping knowledge and skills of the students. The teacher must also communicate and set aside a class period to go to the library, computer lab or both to look at and study maps. The teacher will also need to talk with the librarian/technology specialist so that resources and potential web addresses can be gathered and ready for use if student guidance is needed. The teacher might also want to provide a few examples of types of maps students can choose from and perhaps an ambiguous example of an unfinished final identity map.
Introduction: 1 (identity)
The teacher will place the names of three well known people on the board/overhead and say to the students, “What words can you think of that help to describe one of these individuals?” As students suggest words the teacher can either write the words under the appropriate name or have one of the students be the scribe. The teacher will ask the students to examine each list and identify categories/generalizations that appear on all three lists (jobs, ethnicities, age, organizations) are a few examples. The teacher and students will review the different aspects that make up identities and the teacher will encourage the verbalization of the idea that we all have unique interests and characteristics that make up who we are and that as a class we will respect all identities presented and discussed throughout the lesson. The teacher will then explain how to create a brainstorming of list of unique characteristics that make up who each student is, giving examples such as my favorite color is blue, or I am an only child.
Introduction: 2 (maps)
The teacher will place two locations on the board: 1 the student’s current location and 2 a famous place that will generate interest in the student. The teacher will then say, “If we are going to take a class trip by bus to this location what are some things that we might want to know?” The teacher creates a list of items with the students. Some examples for the list might include: how will we get there, what clothing will we need to take, and what we might see along the way. After the list is generated, the teacher explores with the students various resources where the answers to the questions on the list can be found.
Introduction: 3 (project)
The teacher will explain to the students that using the identity lists the students created and the knowledge the students now hold on maps and map qualities that the students will create a map of their identities. The students will need to think about mediums they have previously worked with and decide which medium will help them best execute the map. The students will make a list of the mediums/materials they think they will need to make the map as well as create a sketch of their identity map. The teacher will approve the students sketch and medium and then the student will be told to start creating their identity map. Once the students have completed their maps, the teacher will hold a critique in which students will have to verbalize the decisions they made and how it demonstrates their unique identity.
Procedures (it is important at every stage that the teacher monitor progress but not give any specific examples that might lead the student in the development of their identities.)
1. The teacher will review the concept of identity and how each and every individual has a different identity as well as different identity groups that they are a part of in the world. The teacher will then have the students generate their identity lists in their sketchbooks. The teacher will monitor this process and approve the fact that they have completed the list.
2. In another class the teacher will introduce maps as discussed above and take the students to the library or computer lab so that they can discover the answers to the questions. During this process the teacher ensures that the students visit various mapping resources and explore the information and views available within each resource. By the end of the period the students should have written answers to the questions generated.
3. Students will then be asked to make a list of beliefs, values, or mores that they believe make up their own personal identity. The teacher will monitor the completion of the list.
4. The teacher will then ask the students to think back to their experiences with the maps. The teacher will display several maps from the projector or overhead and ask the students to discuss the different types of maps and mapping qualities from an artistic perspective. The students will then be introduced to the project.
5. The teacher will then take the students back to the mapping resources and ask the students to find and print two maps that they will use for inspiration in the creation of their projects.
6. Next students will be asked to make a list of materials or mediums in which they would like to create their identity map. They will be directed to make a sketch of what they envision.
7. Once the teacher has approved their medium choice, identity lists, and sketch. They will be instructed to begin creating or drawing their identity maps.
8. After all of the maps are completed the teacher may observe a critique, asking students specific questions at first like what aesthetic choices did you make? What mapping characteristics or type of map did you choose to emulate? Once the teacher has established a critique setting the student critique and questions should begin.
Distribution and Clean Up
Distribution and clean-up will depend on the stage of the lesson as well as the medium chosen. The teacher will know the quantity of materials needed for distribution depending on the medium selected by each student for their project. The teacher will need to develop normal procedures for distribution and clean-up. Some obvious strategies include:
1. Allowing one table to go at a time
2. Allowing one person from each of the mediums gather materials at the same time
3. Grouping students and materials by the medium selected in various locations in the room so that they can share materials
4. Grouping students by their stage in the lesson process
5. Teacher evaluating of the clean-up process including a chart and ranking of clean-up efforts related to various clean-up areas such as sink and workspace.
Throughout the project, student participation will be monitored and assessed by the teacher. Before the students can start working on their identity maps, identity lists, medium choice, and sketch will be approved by the teacher. The final cumulative assessment for each individual is based on the following:
1. The completeness and appropriateness of the project created by the individual in relation to the assignment criteria.
2. The reasoning developed by the individual for decisions made in the project
3. The critique evaluation related to the analysis of the projects of the other students.
4. The appropriate use of medium, mapping research, and identity self-reflection in the project.
The critique can be completed in verbal or written form.
Extensions: An extension of this lesson could be to create an identity map using a clay slab. Thus, incorporating a new medium to the lesson. The students would need to again research different types of maps of a specific place of importance to them. This place could be the bus stop where they have been picked up and dropped off for school their whole lives, a state where they have gone on family vacations multiple times, there backyard where they had many adventures growing up, etc. The students will then print the map of their choosing out and either take away or add to a clay slab, created previously by the professor for each student. The student can cut into the clay to create roads or shapes or can add clay on to the slab to create trees or bumpy roads. The students will then have to decide colors to glaze their slabs and make a sketchbook entry describing choices they made and how the slab informs their identity.
Carla is a 6th grade special needs student with normal intelligence but is paralyzed from the waist down. She has good control of her right hand and arm but limited control of her left extremity. She has a great attitude and enjoys drawing. First I will have the student make a list of all the materials and mediums that she will like to use or thinks that she may need to complete the assignment. I will look over the list and make sure that those materials and mediums are out where she can reach them. Second, I will then choose a specific student to help her adjust the canvas or paper, as needed. I will then allow her to be involved in the medium selection. I already have each student choosing their own medium, but for this student I may ask if there is a particular additional medium that she would like to use and discuss the appropriateness of that medium for the assigned task and ability level. Finally, I might also allow Carla to create her list of identity traits in another form to ease the process for her, while still encouraging full participation, such as allowing her to type her list rather than write it, verbalize her list into a speech device, or have another student write the list for her as she tells the student her list verbally.