This high school lesson plan is a comprehensive and engaging exploration of the contributions of Black visual artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. Spanning 2-3 class periods, it aims to enhance students' appreciation of Black history beyond just the month of February and involves interactive and collaborative learning strategies.
During the first day, students are introduced to the significance of celebrating Black history year-round and are given an overview of several prominent Black visual artists. They then work in expert groups to delve into the artists' lives, works, and impacts, using resources like the Smithsonian's collection on African American artists. Each group member assumes a specific role to ensure thorough research and collaborates to create a visually engaging and informative poster about their assigned artist.
The second day focuses on group presentations and whole-class discussions, where students share their findings and engage in dialogues about the common themes, styles, or challenges faced by the artists. This fosters a deeper understanding of the diversity within Black art and its cultural significance.
An extension activity includes a virtual museum tour, where students explore online exhibitions of Black visual artists, furthering their understanding and appreciation of these artists' contributions to art and culture.