This project will complement what you as teachers already do to help your students learn about the culture and history of their state and community.  The project also reinforces what students learn about writing and research.  Through this writing exhibition project, you will be meeting many different Indiana academic standards and giving your students an opportunity for a larger audience through the online exhibition.

We are especially interested for this project in learning about the “cultural” history of students’ communities.  You might adapt this language to explain “culture” to your students:

“Culture” means the way of life of a group of people, including their values, beliefs, arts, crafts, and communication.  Culture develops over time, and members of a group pass down their cultural knowledge, beliefs, and practices to the next generations.  A “group of people” could be as large as all the residents of a country or state, or as small as the members of a neighborhood or family.  In your community (your county, city, town, or region) different cultures exist together, and you may be part of several different cultures. This project, then, can help you and your classmates learn about the different cultures that have co-existed in your community across the 200 years of Indiana statehood and before.

Hoosier Pride: Cultural Legacy in Indiana – Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 4th Grade

IN Standards:
Language Arts 4.SL.4.1 Using appropriate language, report on a topic or text or provide a narrative in an organized manner, with effective introductions and conclusions, using appropriate structure, appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly and concisely at an understandable pace.
Social Studies 4.1.18  Research and describe the contributions of important Indiana artists and writers to the state’s cultural landscape.

Learning Outcomes:
-Students will be able to analyze research materials
-Students will be able to create biographical narratives
-Students will be able to identify famous Hoosier artists and their contributions to Hoosier life

Materials: 
Print out or provide student access to online research at Indiana Historical Society “Famous Hoosiers” web pages – 4 artists available with short 3-5 paragraph biographies http://www.indianahistory.org/teachers-students/hoosier-facts-fun/famous-hoosiers#.VqD3W1MrLBI

Or find more Hoosier artists at ArtSmart Indiana http://artsmartindiana.org/history/index.php

Introduction:  Classroom discussion & pre-assessment: Who can be artists? (a variety of art forms, music, dance, writing, visual arts, etc) Do we know any famous artists from Indiana? Do we know the term “biography” versus “autobiography.”  (You can also take the time to talk about primary source versus secondary sources). Indiana is celebrating its ‘Bicentennial,’ can we define “bicentennial?” How are artists in history different and similar to artists today?

Activity 1: Artists in Indiana’s History: Close read as a group or have students read independently one of the biographies of the famous Hoosier artists from the historical society.

Activity 2: As a large group or in small groups discuss briefly new things you learned about this person.

Discussion prompts:  What are some new things you learned about this artist? What accomplishments did they have? What clues in the text lead you to believe they are Hoosiers? Do you know anyone in your life that has a similar job or talent today?

Activity 3: Model writing a biographical narrative.

Address 5 questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why

Consider your audience. Who are you writing for? Are you writing these to share with a younger class or our parents?

Does this artist connect with your school or community in any way?

Activity 4: Write a summary: Students choose or you pass out one famous Hoosier Artist per student from Historical Society or ArtSmart. OR Students can interview current local artists -See Activity 5

Each student writes a short narrative summary of the biography, including the 5 questions.

Activity 5: – Advanced version optional: Students can read the famous Hoosier artist biographies as examples, and then research artists in their own community. Use your school’s art teacher, music teacher, theater or dance teachers, other teachers who may do art at home or sing in a choir, family members or community members who are artists. Students can interview local artists and write biographies about their cultural contributions to our state.

Activity 6: Share your narrative. Pair and Share with a neighbor who has a different artist, invite a younger class to pair up with each student, or have students orally present their research to the whole class.

Reflection: Group Discussion: How do artists contribute to Hoosier life?  How has Indiana changed in 200 years? How are artists in history different and similar to artists today?

Accommodations/Variations:
Instead of reading biographies of historical Hoosier artists, connect with your regional Arts Partner http://www.in.gov/arts/2482.htm  or Arts for Learning www.artsforlearningindiana.org who can recommend local artists to visit your classroom. Students can prepare interview questions for the visiting artist and write narratives based on their answers.

Instead of specific artists, challenge students to think about “cultural” practices native to your area. Does your community have a history of limestone carving or basket weaving using the natural materials in the environment? Are there stories about historical events that have evolved into legends in your area through generational storytelling? Is there significant architecture in your area? Or significant dances from local cultures?

Lesson extensions:
-You can continue with editing revisions of the story to finalize writing.
-Students can connect work in their art and music classes to Hoosier artists Cole Porter and TC Steele.

Final: Submit some or all of your students’ writing to the Hoosier Pride Project’s online writing exhibition

 

Hoosier Pride: What is Indiana to you? – Lesson Plan #2

Grade Level: 4th Grade

IN Standards:
Language Arts 4.RL.3.1 Explain major differences between poems, plays, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems and drama.
Language Arts 4.SL.4.1 Using appropriate language, report on a topic or text or provide a narrative in an organized manner, with effective introductions and conclusions, using appropriate structure, appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly and concisely at an understandable pace.
Social Studies 4.1.18  Research and describe the contributions of important Indiana artists and writers to the state’s cultural landscape.

Learning Outcomes:
-Students will be able to evaluate poetry text and identify key descriptive words
-Students will be able to create original poems describing areas of Indiana that they are familiar with

Materials: 
-Indiana’s state poem “Indiana”http://arthurmapes.com/official-state-poem, paper, and pencil for writing

Introduction:  Classroom discussion & pre-assessment: Review or introduce – “What do we know about poetry?”

Activity 1: Read as a group or independently three or more stanzas of the Indiana state poem “Indiana” by Arthur Mapes

Activity 2: Ask students to identify words that stand out to them. You may need to spend some time defining words through a dictionary or prepared vocab sheet.

Activity 3: Model writing a stanza from the poem without the important descriptive words.

“I must walk where squirrels scamper
Down a rustic old rail fence,
Where a choir of birds is singing
In the woodland . . . green and dense.”

becomes

“I go where squirrels walk
Down a fence
Where some birds sing
In the outside…”

Activity 4: Students brainstorm places they like to visit in Indiana and visualize them in their mind. Pair and Share quickly with a neighbor and tell a 30 second story about the place. Partners can ask two questions about the story of what they would like to know more about.

Activity 5: Student writing – Students write down the description of their favorite Indiana place in essay or poetry format. Remind students to use interesting descriptive words as they describe their Indiana.

Reflection: Group Discussion “What is something new you learned about writing poetry?” “What is unique about Indiana?”

Accommodations/Variations:
-Before this lesson, work through the lesson on comparing/contrasting poetry and prose at http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/what-poetry-contrasting-poetry-30738.html

-Instead of describing physical attributes of the land, consider challenging students to describe historical events in your region through poetry or describing a famous artist, artwork, or cultural practice (dance, clay work, theater)

Lesson extensions:
-You can continue on with editing/drafts of the poem/story further to finalize writing.
-Students can read their story aloud and receive suggestions from peers on how to improve their writing

Final: Submit some or all of your students’ writing to the Hoosier Pride Project’s online writing exhibition

 

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