A JOURNEY TO AFRICA: ART AND ARTIFACTS
Project URL: http://teachnet-lab.org/africa/index.htm
This project enables students to conduct Internet research on African
culture by reading about and selecting a piece of art they find intriguing.
They examine features and collect facts in order to create a PowerPoint
presentation. The students bookmark appropriate websites so they can
describe the piece they have chosen (its materials and features) as
well as talk about its function, and then explain why they have chosen
it. Students also learn how to cite a bibliography entry for electronic
information, as they combine technology, social studies, language
arts, and visual arts to create their project.
Students use the skills and strategies of the writing process and
evaluate their own and others’ writing; use self-assessment to set
and achieve goals; participate in peer response groups; use reading
skills to understand, interpret, summarize, and paraphrase information,
draw conclusions and make inferences; use a variety of resource materials;
and organize information and ideas in systematic ways. They use technology
to locate, evaluate, and collect information, to process data and
report results, and to enhance learning, productivity, and creativity;
use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced
models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works; use
telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with others;
employ a variety of media and formats to communicate information and
ideas effectively; and evaluate and select resources and technological
innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
Required materials include computers with Internet connection, a scanner,
a word processing program, and a slide presentation program.
The participants are middle school students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
This project can be used in language arts, social studies, and any
other curriculum area in conjunction with technology. It can be adapted
for elementary and high school.
Most of the students have not previously combined so many
elements or parts into one presentation. This gives them the opportunity
to work constructively and see how a project can be broken down into
smaller pieces and combined to create a final presentation. Once they
complete this hands-on, long-term project they can creatively plan
other projects expanding on the use of technology. For example, the
next project may include video in the slide presentation. A
Journey To Africa: Art And Artifacts can be used for
a variety of learning abilities in the classroom. Additional assignments
may be added onto the existing lessons in order to engage those who
complete the tasks before other students.
If you can model this project to several students before the entire
class commences the unit, those students can act as teacher's assistants
in the computer lab.
About the teacher:
Robin Donovan is in her fourth year of teaching at P.S. 50 in
Jamaica, New York. Prior to entering the teaching profession, Robin
worked in advertising. She has a B.A. in Fine Art from Santa Clara
University in Santa Clara, California, a B.F.A. in Advertising Design
from the Art Center College of Design, and she completed her Masters
in Elementary Education at Queens College, CUNY in 2004. In 2005 she
became certified to teach Visual Arts, K-12.