Friday, July 20, 2018

Language arts activities with high school students

student looks at Black Panther variant covers 

 This week, I worked with several Upward Bound high school students on SIUE's campus. We covered a variety of language arts activities related to African American poetry. We made use of technology and also participated in writing exercises.

For one, we took a look at comic book variants using tablets. I wanted the students to consider what it meant for artists to take a common topic and then offer different or variant takes on that topic. We looked at Black Panther variants, Riri Williams/Iron Man variants, and Hip Hop variants.  

student works on sketch, using image from cell phone 

The variant exercise was a lead up to an exercise where we produced hand-drawn images to visually complement words we use.  I noticed that when students sought to draw something, they were inclined to pull up images on their cell phones to serve as models. What I liked about having the students do the word-sketch boards was that it gave them a chance to really work with their hands to create images. It was fascinating how much time they spent trying to get the illustrations right on two index cards.

student works on sketch, using image from cell phone

Last week, we took a look at various poems. So this week, I gave students prompts to remix works by Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, and Adrian Matejka. I reproduced poems by those poets but replaced various words with blanks, prompting the students to insert new words. The activity proved useful for figuring out what issues and topics the students find interesting.

Student works on poem remix exercise  

Black poetry, high school students, and audio recordings

No comments: