Hey Doodle Fam! I'm so excited to introduce you to our guest blogger, Kathryn Eaton. She has gone the extra mile to create an incredible experience for her students for Black History Month. Along will tackling some important discussions, she also teamed up with other teachers to cultivate a cohesive, hands-on, and oh-so-important unit this month. Check it out below!!
“As soon as I saw the book Change Sings by Amanda Gorman had been written I knew I had to have it for my class and preordered the book. I decided to wait and incorporate it into my lesson plans for Black History Month. I was also able to talk with the specialist team at my school and got the media specialist and art teacher on board as well!
In Music, we started by reading the book and discussing the main themes of the book - Kindness, Helping (each other and the environment), and Equality. The book mentions the word "tolerance." We discussed as a class what that means - Respect and Equality. We discussed how we can show tolerance, respect, and equality for all different types of people - different countries, different cultures, people with disabilities, different religions, etc.
Several years ago, I attended a World Music Drumming workshop and I have been using it in my classes ever since. So the very first song in their curriculum book talks about how in the African, Native American and indigenous Australian cultures, they drum in circles to show equality amongst the people. We then spent the rest of the month learning about the African culture and learning and performing various songs from the curriculum.
In Media, the teacher also read the book out loud with the students, going more in depth into what the students see in the pictures and understanding the language of the poetry. They then watched a YouTube video of Amanda Gorman talking about her book on the Today show. The students then chose a topic around the theme of "Change"... For example, the environment, kindness, helping others, trash in the oceans, etc. Then the students wrote their own poems.
In Art, the students discussed the style of art in the book and made a musical collage similar to the collage at the beginning and end of "Change Sings." The students used the guitar as the main instrument, since that is the instrument of the main character in the book and then added dimension and color by cutting various fun shapes and adding it to the background of the piece.
We did this with grades 2-5. The students were very excited about the projects and loved discussing the themes of the book and what they could do to make the world a better place.”
-Kathryn Eaton, Florida