Students launch the third unit with a Build Background Knowledge protocol, examining short informational and literary texts, visual art, and performances to further develop their sense of how the Harlem Renaissance continues to impact us today. They explore the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance through Nikki Grimes' poem "Emergency Measures," original artwork associated with the poem, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's ballet, "Uptown," which was inspired by the people, places, art, music, and writing of the Harlem Renaissance. In the first half of the unit, students study Nikki Grimes' poetry in conjunction with the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance. In her poems, Grimes uses the Golden Shovel method, whereby one line of text from a Harlem Renaissance poem becomes a part of her poetry. Grimes pairs her poem "On Bully Patrol" with Georgia Douglas Johnson's "Hope" and her poem "David's Old Soul" with Langston Hughes' "A Negro Speaks of Rivers." Students study these pairings for structure, language, and theme. They also explore the Golden Shovel approach by writing one or more poems borrowing lines from other Harlem Renaissance poems. For the mid-unit assessment, students examine the structure, figurative language, and themes in Nikki Grimes' "The Sculptor" and its paired poem, Georgia Douglas Johnson's "Calling Dreams". Throughout the first half of the unit, students learn the relevance of the themes of the Harlem Renaissance in contemporary poetry.
In the second half of the unit, students continue exploring the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance by creating a museum exhibit. It includes three pieces from the Harlem Renaissance and one contemporary piece that they have studied or created themselves, such as their Golden Shovel poems developed in the beginning of the unit. Students write a curator's statement explaining how the works are connected by theme and create labels discussing the structure, language, and theme of each piece. For the end of unit assessment, students' presentation skills are assessed in a presentation of a visual piece from the exhibit, the label for the piece, and the curator's statement. Students revise their presentation, curator's statements, and labels in two distinct Tuning Protocols: one for presentation skills and one for writing content. The unit concludes with a Harlem Renaissance museum, in which students contribute to making a better world by sharing these important works with their community.
Please note: For the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum, there are Teaching Notes for each unit that contain helpful information for supporting English language learners. These overview notes complement the more specific English language learner supports and differentiated materials within each lesson. You will find the Teaching Notes in the Unit download below.