Getting Better Acquainted with Home: Coming from Where I’m From

Lakeirra Booth, Language Arts, Randolph Middle School



I often say to better understand where you are going and why you are going in a particular manner, one must have a clearer understanding of their history and the seedling that brought about their very existence. I often teach my students about the Black History and other historical factors related to Charlotte and it bewilders me how little my students know about Charlotte’s history as well as present-day educational and cultural activities and experiences that existence with the Queen City. During my pre-college educational career my teachers and my community incorporated the history of my hometown on a regular basis.

Student’s involvement in the community allows me the opportunity to establish connections with community partners and build a community among staff, students and parents. Community involvement impacts students learning by increasing students’ engagement, establishing a greater teacher and student relationship and allowing students to feel part of the learning community and the community at large.

There is an African Proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” When are we going to realize that educators are not “the village”, we are residents? As a resident I plan to continue to take full advantage of the resources offered within the village.

“A work in progress” is how I refer to myself in the educational realm. As an educational professional I make a conscience effort to expose both myself and my students to activities that will enhance our educational experience and desire to learn. A true educational experience extends the walls of an educational institution, therefore I would say my educational focus and tool I use most is community be it the community of the school or the community at large. I make every effort to reach my students academically and use academic resources other than a textbook. In a continuing effort to use the community as an educational tool, I make a conscience effort to develop relationship with community organization and individuals in various professions with the community-at-large. Education should extend beyond the concrete of an academic facility that has been termed “an academic setting;” it should also be community based. A student has not truly met or mastered an objective unless that individual is able to apply what has been learned to real life experiences. Judging from the amount of passion and effort displayed by my students’ involvement in the area of community involvement, I believe this area to be the most effective in impacting students learning. This area requires them to go above and beyond the realm of their regular academic endeavors.


My overall goal for this unit is to aid students in developing an appreciation for and becoming better acquainted with the City of Charlotte, community, identity and the idea as well as the connotative meaning of home. When asked, “What does home mean to you?” I wish for my students to be able to respond in an effective, thought provoking and academic manner. I wish to assist students with becoming more familiar with the culture and community of Charlotte Mecklenburg. Students’ attendance at community events will serve as one tool to expose students to various components of Charlotte Mecklenburg not related to or confined to the concrete walls of an educational institution. At the close of the school year students will have four stamps/signatures and reflections in their Cultural/Community Passport which will serve as an tangible education tool during this unit.

While teaching the unit based on Charlotte native Romare Bearden, I wish to ignite a passion in students to become more familiar with the history of their hometown. The guiding questions for this unit are: How does my ability to define and relate to my home influence who I am and who I will become? How does my relationship with my home, hometown or native land influence who I am and who I will become? How do you define “home”? Is there more to a home then a physical location? What impact do family and community have on home?

Focusing on all Five Strands as well as the Common Core State Standards of English Language Arts (1), my long-term goals for this unit are five-fold. First, to enhance communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, while second, improving student’s ability to express individual perspectives, third, increase vocabulary skills, fourth, refine critical thinking and argumentative skills and last, increase grammatical skills and language usage.

According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative’s website the standard is a state-led effort developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce. The standards define the knowledge and skills students should have during their K-12 educational experience so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards: 1. Are aligned with college and work expectations; 2. Are clear, understandable and consistent; 3. Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills; 4. Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards; 5. Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and 6. Are evidence-based. The Key Points of English Language Arts are reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and media and technology. Of the 55 states and territories of the United States, 8 have yet to adopt the standards.


Once a needle in a haystack, but having worked diligently to shine as bright as possible in order to stand out in this large urban school district, my school is now an Honors School of Excellence. There are over 1100 students representing 32 nationalities, enrolled in my school which encompasses three programs, International Baccalaureate MYP (2), Exceptional Children and Horizons. According to the International Baccalaureate website, IB is a non-profit educational foundation founded in 1968 that is motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The IB Programme has three academic programmes, Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme. A student attending this school benefits from all programs by actively participating in the components of the IB program which heightens critical thinking, gaining an understanding of issue the impact the world and developing a true concept of the role individuals with disabilities play in the school and the community at large. Some other demographic of the school are 49% female, 48% free or reduced lunch and 71% minority population, 87% of students are at or above grade level in mathematics and reading.

Rationale for unit

I often say to better understand where you are going and why you are going in a particular manner, one must have a clearer understanding of their history and the seedling that brought about their very existence. I often teach my students about the Black History and other historical factors related to Charlotte and it bewilders me how little my students know about Charlotte’s history as well as present-day educational and cultural activities and experiences that existence with the Queen City. During my pre-college educational career my teachers and my community incorporated the history of my hometown on a regular basis.

Student involvement in the community allows me the opportunity to establish connections with community partners and build a community among staff, students and parents. Community involvement impacts students learning by increasing students’ engagement, establishing a greater teacher and student relationship and allowing students to feel part of the learning community and the community at large.

There is an African Proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” When are we going to realize that educators are not “the village”, we are residents? As a resident I plan to continue to take full advantage of the resources offered within the village.

Strategies to be implemented during CTI unit

As part of a technological advance generation, pencil and paper is not sufficient as the primary resource for my students, therefore I must incorporate technology or innovative tools whenever possible. As with all units within my class I will incorporate numerous strategies and instructional tools during the course of this unit. Prior to starting the unit I will utilize a Socratic Seminar to gain an insight of the thoughts and opinions of my students as it relates to the unit questions which are as follows: Home does my ability to define and relate to my home influence who I am and who I will become? How does my relationship with my home, hometown or native land influence who I am and who I will become? How do you define “home”? What is a home, is it a place, a family, community? What does “home” mean to you? What are some aspects of Charlotte that makes your proud? What do you know about the history of Charlotte?

Instructional Strategies

Cultural/Community Passport

At the close of the school year students will have four stamps/signatures and reflections in their Cultural/Community Passport. The Cultural/Community will serve as a tangible educational tool to be used by students as they attend their required four Community or Cultural events throughout the school year. After attending each event students must obtain a signature or stamp that verifies their attendance. Along with obtaining a signature or stamp students must write a three-paragraph reflective essay about the event. The essay should contain the following information: 1. Students’ experience during the event 2. Significant learning that took place during the event 3. Any expectations the students had prior to attending the event and whether or not those expectations were met 4. How their experience has influenced their perceptions of community and culture and 5. Any other information they would like to share about the event.

Socratic Seminars

Socratic Seminars will be implemented throughout the course of the course of the unit to gain an insight of the students’ perspective on the information being presented in the various formats. The lesson is conducted using Paideia Seminar (3), which is a great tool for fostering students’ participation in the whole class interaction. The National Paideia Center, which has developed extensive materials on using seminars in classrooms, defines a Socratic seminar as a ‘collaborative, intellectual dialogue facilitated with open-ended questions about a text.’ According to the National Paideia Center’s website, Paideia increases students’ factual recall, develops students’ literacy skills and strengthen students’ conceptual understanding. This is done through didactic instruction which increases students’ factual recall, intellectual coaching which develops students’ literacy skills and seminar dialogue which strengthens students’ conceptual understanding. Seminar is a student lead activity during which I serve as facilitator.

These strategies are appropriate for my students because it allows them an opportunity to enhance peer interaction, writing skills, verbal communication, problem solving and critical thinking skills. As stated on the website the purpose of a Socratic Seminar is to achieve a deeper understanding about the ideas and values in a text. In the Seminar, participants systematically question and examine issues and principles related to a particular content, and articulate different points-of-view. The group conversation assists participants in constructing meaning through disciplined analysis, interpretation, listening, and participation. In a Socratic Seminar, the participants carry the burden of responsibility for the quality of the discussion. Good discussions occur when participants study the text closely in advance, listen actively, share their ideas and questions in response to the ideas and questions of others, and search for evidence in the text to support their ideas. The discussion is not about right answers; it is not a debate. Students are encouraged to think out loud and to exchange ideas openly while examining ideas in a rigorous, thoughtful, manner. The classroom should be arranged so that students can look at each other directly.

Having a clear understanding of the various capacities technology plays in the role of adolescents’ lives technology will be used as a key resource and tool in this unit. I will incorporate technology by having students conduct internet research on various components of adolescent social behaviors using reputable sources. While working in Corporative Learning Groups students will create PowerPoints Presentations which will be presented before their peers.

Cooperative Learning Groups

Many of the lessons will be conducted using Cooperative Learning which is effective for this lesson because the students feel safe as well as challenged, the groups are small, containing no more than five students, enough so that everyone could contribute and their task while working together was clearly defined. According to Kennasaw State University educational website Cooperative Learning (4) is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it. Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques, promote student learning and academic achievement, increase student retention, enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience, help students develop skills in oral communication, develop students’ social skills and promote student self-esteem and help to promote positive race relations.

Within this section of the unit groups consist of five members in a group each student will be given a role during group activities. The roles are to be determined by the group members roles are to include a reporter, parliamentarian/facilitator, organizer, researcher/historian and supervisor. Groups containing six members will have two peers at one of the roles. The reporter’s role in the group is to report to the instructor any issues within the group that cannot be workout or managed by group members. The parliamentarian/facilitator is in charge of keeping harmony within the group and making sure everyone plays a role an active role within the group as well as making sure members are not socializing outside of the group. The organizer’s role entail keeping up with group assignments and materials as well as making sure the group presentation are done in a professional manner. The researcher/historian’s is in charge of making sure the group is doing all assignments correctly and following all directions. They act as the fact checker. The supervisor’s role is to have a clear understanding of everyone’s position and to assist in all areas as needed or as determined by the group. The students were given the freedom to pick their groups based on their interest.

Allowing students to select the members of their Cooperative Learning group enhances their feeling of being a decision maker in their learning process as well as enhancing their thoughts of feeling free and safe to express their opinions and views on the subject at hand. Cooperative Learning is positioned within the Social Constructivist model. Students work on projects or problems in teams with both personal and team accountability for conceptual understanding. Cooperative Learning enhances student learning by providing a shared cognitive set of information between students, motivating students to learn the material, insuring that students construct their own knowledge, providing formative feedback, developing social and group skills necessary for success outside the classroom, and promoting positive interaction between members of different cultural and socio-economic groups. These strategies are appropriate for my students because it allows them an opportunity to enhance peer interaction, verbal communication, problem solving and critical thinking skills while giving them an opportunity to hear various perspectives and justifications regarding the topic at hand. Allowing them the opportunity to discuss things of interest such as music, poetry, art and along with enhancing their comprehension of historical elements are important to my students because it exposes them to educational opportunities they have not been privy to in the past.

Video Analysis Sheet

Name ________________

Date __________________

  1. What is the title of the movie?
  2. Does the movie title correspond with the actions that occur within the movie? Justify your response.
  3. If you were given an opportunity to re-name the movie’s title what would title it and why?
  4. What character do you identify with the most in the movie? Why?
  5. What is the Author’s Purpose of this movie?
  6. What are some Propaganda Techniques used in the movie?
  7. Give examples of those Propaganda Techniques used.





e. __________________________________________________________

8. Are there any parts you would like to change about this movie? Why or why not?

9. What was your mood while watching the movie? What cause you to respond that way?

10. What was the creator’s tone of the main character?

11. Who is the protagonist in the movie?

12. Who is the antagonist in the movie?

13. What are some differences between the movie and the story?

14. What are some similarities between the movie and the story?

15. What did you like least about the movie? Why

16. What did you like most about the movie? Why?

Complete the Venn Diagram

Academic Strategies to be implemented

For the past two years I have taught an interdisciplinary unit based on the Harlem Renaissance, however, I never knew the history of Romare Bearden. I did not know that Charlotte native Romare Bearden played in intrinsic role in the Harlem Renaissance. I can use his artistic creations and the multiple community events as resources to advance my students educational endeavors beyond the concrete walls of an educational institution as well as beyond a text book. In general Language Arts is course that encompasses many components such as reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing, however I wish to move my students beyond the general components of Language Arts, through the language of Bearden’s art. I will include various aspects of Bearden’s life and art throughout the school year. In an effort to bring the community into the classroom, I will work to form a relationship with community partners such as the Harvey Gantt, the Mint Museum and community agencies. I will solicit the assist of community organization to participate in our school’s Career Fair, to speak with students and to establish program within the school.

A major resource I will use through this unit will be community events such as the Literary Festival, Indian Festival, Greek Fest, Public Art Walking Tour Podcast, Arts and Science Council events related to Romare Bearden and other community events such as Speed Street and Taste of Charlotte. What about religion? I also wish to include Weekend Gallery/Community Crawls, during which I take my students out to explore the community and community events on the weekends. By using community events students will have a hands-on opportunity to become better acquainted with “home”.

Infusing a musical aspect to the unit as well as adding contemporary essence I will also incorporate lessons related to Charlotte natives Anthony Hamilton, Sunshine Anderson and Calvin Richardson all of whom embodies aspects of the sounds that were heard during the Harlem Renaissance (5). The unit will also feature selections from the album Romare Bearden Revealed by Branford Marsalis placing a great emphasis on the piece Carolina Shout and Seabreeze. After becoming familiar with creating collages students will create three collages, one that highlight their favorite artist, their relationship with Charlotte and a self collage.

The Many Homes of Romare Bearden

Working in their Cooperative Learning groups students will create a PowerPoint about the many homes of Romare Bearden. Each group will be assigned one of the cities in which Bearden resided during his lifetime, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Harlem/New York City, Lutherville, Maryland, Boston and Saint Martin. During this activity the group with cite major nationals events which occurred during the time period Bearden live in their assigned city. Each group will cite significant events that occurred in their assigned city during the time Bearden’s residency. Each group will also cite what their assigned city is famous for and how does their assigned city celebrate Bearden.

To Romare Bearden

Working individually students will read the poem To Romare Bearden by Derek Walcott. After reading the poem students will analyze and interpret the poem, write a poem to and bio about their favorite artist and include a photo of their favorite artist. Making a connection to Charlotte students must take a picture of an area of Charlotte that relates to their favorite artist. Student will view as well as complete components of a Video Analysis Sheet on the video Dropping in on Romare Bearden which gives background information on Bearden in demonstrates the basic of creating a collage. Students will create a collage based on their interpretation or the poem.

Getting to Know the Artist

Using the Romare Bearden’s Southern Sensibility video and the June 29, 1968 interview conducted by Henri Ghent. After viewing the video students will complete a Video Analysis Sheet as well as complete a Comparison Essay comparing the two videos Dropping in on Romare Bearden and Southern Sensibility.

Poems of Remembrance (6)

Working in pairs students will browse poetry collections to find another poem that was written in honor of a person or historical event. (Examples include “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman.) Each pair will tell the class the subject of the poem, its historical context and why they decided upon their selected poem. Each pair will read their poem before the class following the class will site with evidence with they discover to be vivid and effective about the recited poem. Each pair must also select a piece of Bearden’s work that relates to or paint a visual of the poem. The can use pieces by Bearden such as Old Poem, Lion Take Off, Mother and Child, Slave Ship, Summertime or The Grill.

Journey in Time

Using the Timeline from the Romare Beardern Foundation’s Website (7) as an educational resource each group will embark upon a journey in the life of Romare Bearden. Each group will create a timeline that features 20 events in Romare’s life. Each event must highlight a piece of art or music that was of great importance during the time period being featured as well has a visual representation and connection to Charlotte. The outcome will be created via Photo Story, PowerPoint, Movie Maker or any other technologically focused educational tool.

Documentary on those Bearden Admired (8)

Divide the class into small groups. Explain that they will be planning a documentary about a person that they admire. Have groups locate primary source materials for their documentary such as archival footage, photographs, and documents. For any subjects who lived before the 20th century, film footage will not be available. Students will have to rely on still prints or significant generic images. Have groups also think of people they might like to interview about the subject and identify music, audio clips, and sound effects that they would like to include. Ask groups to sketch storyboards that show the sequence and plan of their documentary. Have groups present their storyboards to the class. To extend the activity, have students gather the clips, photographs, and documents that they would like to include in their documentary. Ask them to write the script that will tie their facts and evidence together. Have them present their documentary to the class, reading the script while displaying the artifacts and clips in the correct sequence.

Alone on an Island

In the activity Alone on an Island, students will evaluate Bearden’s relationship with other artist and the impact various artist had on him works. Working individually students will create a written and artistic communication between Bearden and an artist of their chosen. Students will create e-mails and letters which show communication between the two artists, there must be at least four two-way communications must be created. Students must pick two pieces from each artist to be used as samples to be e-mailed between the two artists. Along with creating the communications between the two artist students must also write a bio about their selected artist and offer justification for selecting the chosen artist. Incorporating exhibits being featured at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (9) students will select from the following artists to complete their assignment: Betye Saar, Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Camille Billops, Eugene Campbell, Nanette Carter, Michael Cummings, Louis Delsarte, Maya Freelon Asante, Wadsworth Jarrell, Kerry James Marshall, Howardina Pindell, Nelson Stevens, Larry Walker, David Wilson and Nigerian artist Moyosore (Moyo) Okediji. As well as Chris Watts who is featured at Davidson College.

Music is Art-Art is Music

Each group will be assigned two songs related to home. Each group will analyze the song, connect each song to a painting and then compare their selected painting to one created by Bearden. Students must show the original video created for their assigned song, if one has not been created students must create a video. Students must create an analysis of their video. The songs to be assigned are “Home” by Anita Baker, “Home” from the Wiz by Diana Ross and Stephanie Mills, “Put on for My City” by Young Jeezy, “Home” by Michael Buble, “Home” Daughtry, “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock, “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles, The Old and New North Carolina State song and “Coming From Where I’m From” by Anthony Hamilton. Suggestions of painting to be used for the assignment are as follows: Of the Blues: Carolina Shout (1974), The Family (1941), Family (1986), Mecklenburg Autumn: October—Toward Paw’s Creek (1983)

Pittsburgh Memories (1984), Profile/Part I, The Twenties: Pittsburgh Memories, Farewell Eugene, (1978), The Visitation (1941), Early Carolina Morning, Mississippi Monday, Baltimore Uproar, Berkley – The City and Its People, Burrough of Manhattan Community College Mural, Carolina Blue, Mecklenburg Autumn and Pittsburgh Recollections.

Five Things

Working in their Cooperative Learning Groups students will complete the Five Things assignment using their assigned Romare Bearden Picture Book. This activity will allow students to gain an insight into the work Romare Bearden as well as aspects of his life through a literary lens. The Five Things also known as Elements of Drama consist of students developing an understanding of plot, character, conflict, theme and setting. Each group will be assigned one of nine Romare Bearden Picture Books. 1. Bearden, Romare. Li’l Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story. Brown, Kevin. 2. Romare Bearden. Greenberg, Jan. 3. Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories. Hartfield, Claire & Jerome Lagarrigue (illustrator). 4. Me and Uncle Romie: A Story Inspired by the Life and Art of Romare Bearden. Hughes, Langston & Romare Bearden (illustrator). 5. The Block. Johnson, Herschel & Romare Bearden (illustrator). 6. A Visit to the Country. Schwartzman, Myron. 7. Romare Bearden: Celebrating the Victory. 8. Shange, Ntozake & Romare Bearden (illustrator). I Live in Music. 9. My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey Jeanne Walker Harvey and Elizabeth Zunon (Illustrator)

Plot – The comic strip, a narrative sequence of events, has to include the basic situation, 3 or more complications, climax, resolution, and the moral. Characterization – The method or methods used by an author to create or develop a character. Characterization is usually done by allowing the reader to explore the personality traits of their characters through narrator’s statement or speech about the character or in response to the character, the action of the character, the character’s speech and thoughts, other characters’ words and interactions with the character. Conflict – The struggle within the text. Students explore pictures to identify the characteristics of four types of conflict: character vs. character, character vs. self, character vs. nature, and character vs. society. Next, each group member write about a conflict in their own lives and then look for similarities among all the conflicts shared by their group and class, ultimately classifying each conflict into one of the four types. Finally, after investigating the compare and contrast format, students conclude with a compare and contrast essay that focuses on two conflicts—one from their own experience and one from a picture book they were assigned within their group. Theme – A broad idea, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Working within their group students will use picture books to identify theme by creating the Plot Line, Characterization Outline and Identify Conflict. Setting – The location and time frame during which the action of a narrative occurs. Students will answer seven questions related to the setting, 1. What is the symbolism of the setting? 2. Why the author chose a particular setting? 3. What mood/feelings does the setting communicate and how? 4. Is there another time/place the story could happen? 5. What does the setting contribute to the plot line? 6. How would the people, behaviors, or events be different if set today instead during that particular time period? 7. How would you like it or behave if you were in this setting?

Photo Story

Microsoft Photo Story (10) is a free application that allows one to turn digital photos into a visual story with sound, special effect, background music and narration. Each group will be assigned a type of Bearden’s work, Oil, Watercolor, Collage, Public Art, Cover Art and Music & Poetry. Students will create a Photo story that features their assigned type of art, a musical component and an analysis of the featured piece. Students will use The Art Analysis created by The Ohio State University Department of History (11) to analyze the artwork.

Students will take pictures throughout the unit. These pictures will be used to create their final assignment for this unit, a Photo Story, which will highlight their experiences during this unit. In creating the Photo Story students can only use music created by the Charlotte Natives.

Culture and Identity

With guidance and assistance students will identify and their own sense of cultural identity. Students will gain an insight of how we are shaped by the cultures in which we live and gain a true meaning to the idea of “being a product of your environment”. Student will complete an All About Me project which will include, a bio poem, a timeline of their life and fifteen years into the future, a research component about their sir name and family cultures and traditions and create a family tree.

The House on Mango Street (12) written by Sandra Cisneros takes place in a Hispanic American ghetto in Chicago. Throughout the novel Cisneros explores themes of cultural tradition, gender roles, human rights and social injustice. Cisneros stated that she decided to write The House on Mango Street, because “you will always be Mango Street. You can’t erase what you know. You can’t forget who you are.” The purpose of the Bio Book project is to allow students the opportunity to create their own book which will help students to gain an insight of self through self-reflection as well as allow others to gain a better understanding of the student creating the Bio Book. The Bio Book consists of a Book Cover, Title Page, Dedication Page, Table of Contents and 10 chapters.

Student will read Home as short story by Gwendolyn Brooks. Home is a short story about a family in jeopardy of losing their home due to financial complications. As a result of the housing crisis that we face today students are able to identify with the story through personal experience or via the constant coverage of the housing crisis in the media as well during political discussions. After reading this story we will have a Socratic Seminar on the story as well the symbolism related to the emotional connotation related to the term home.

Beyond the Words

Analyze Romare Bearden’s Quotes

The following are the quotes to be used for this assignment: 1. “What you don’t need is just as important as what you need.” 2. “The most difficult object in painting is yourself because you’re always at issue…” 3. “Painting is a self-disciplined activity that you have to learn by yourself.” 4. “Painting and art cannot be taught. You can save time if someone tells you to put blue and yellow together to make green, but the essence of painting is a self-disciplined activity that you have to learn by yourself.” 5. “The artist has to be exactly the opposite of people singing the song, I’ve gotta be Me, and transcend himself as he makes judgments.” 6. “Every artist wants his work to be permanent. But what is? The Aswan Dam covered some of the greatest art in the world. Venice is sinking. Great books and pictures were lost in the Florence floods. In the meantime we still enjoy butterflies.” 7. “Practically all great artists accept the influence of others. But… the artist with vision… by integrating what he has learned with his own experiences… molds something distinctly personal.” 8. “Black art has always existed. It just hasn’t been looked for in the right places.” 9. “There are roads out of the secret place within us which we must all move as we go to touch others.” 10. “Practically all great artists accept the influence of others. But . . . the artist with vision sees his material, chooses, changes, and by integrating what he has learned with his own experiences, finally molds something distinctly personnel.” 11. “Well, it [artistic method] is like jazz; you do this and then you improvise.” 12. “I want to see how life can triumph.” Working individually each student will analyze each of the above quotes using the following questions: 1. What ideas are expressed by Bearden and what do the quotes tell you about him? 2. Does Bearden express any particular feelings? What are the feelings he may be having at this time? What does he say about these feelings? 3. What is Bearden’s tone? How would you characterize his tone? 4. Who is Bearden speaking to/about and how does he feel the situation/person? 5. Are there any particular words or phrases Bearden uses that stand out or seem important to you?

Create a Mural: Community (13)

The story, The War on the Wall by Toni Cade Bambara and magazine article, Back to the Wall, are about murals in two different communities. Have groups of students discuss ideas for a mural that would reflect their community. Then provide students with large pieces of paper and art supplies to produce their murals.

Murals and the “Wall of Respect” Movement (14)

Students will research the “wall of respect” movement, as well as other types of murals

that have become common since the 1960s and are referenced in the story and magazine

article. Divide the class into groups and have each group focus on a different aspect of the topic. Students might research the original “Wall of Respect” in Chicago, the influence of the movement, artists involved in such paintings (such as Judith Baca), murals by various ethnic groups, and examples of murals in their community or state. Have each group present their findings to the class. Encourage students to gather information from several sources and include visual aids in their presentations.

Write a Proposal: Benefits of a Mural Project (15)

Students will explore murals of the Queen City and examine their location and the history associated with the mural. Student will look in their neighborhoods and community for a spot to paint a mural. Students will write a proposal similar to that any muralist might write if they wish to get government support and permission for a mural project in their community. Students must include the objective of the project as well as a description of possible content of the mural, ideas for how it will involve people in the community and the benefits that the community will receive from allowing the project to be completed.

What’s in a name?

Names/Nombres (16) is a short story by Julia Alvarez about a family that moves to the New York from the Dominican Republic and constantly encounters problem multiple levels of disrespect as it relates to the mispronunciation of their name. Questions to be answers by students after reading story and discussing story using whole class format: 1. What does your name mean? 2. Are you viewed in a negative or positive manner based on your name? 3. Do you believe people are pre-judged and judged based on their name? Why? 4. What impact does your name have on who are and who you will become? 5. Choose a form of your name that means the most to you. Why is it important? What does it represent? and How do you feel when you hear it?

Gallery Crawl

The city of Charlotte along with many other cities throughout the country is celebrating Charlotte Native Romare Bearden?s 100th Birthday. The Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts has an exhibit titled Romare Bearden Southern Recollections which is on display through January 08, 2012. Everyone is able to view the exhibit for FREE on Tuesdays between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. In order to get the full credit students must also, 1. Write down the entire Bearden’s quotes that are being displayed during the exhibit, 2. Write down the title of the picture that is near each quote, the picture not the art work. 3. Describe the picture that is mentioned in your above answer. 4. Students must have all pictures and quotes 5. Get a copy of A Family Guide and have it signed by someone working at the counter of the museum. If they are unwilling to sign the brochure student must at least write their name on the brochure and the date as well as the time students visited the exhibit.


Homeless (17) by Anna Quindlen provide readers with her perspective a major issue in America that has been heighten due to our current economic crisis. After reading the essay students will compile statistics on homelessness to help them understand the

dimensions of the problem more fully. Divide students into five to six groups. Assign each group one of these areas to research: current number of homeless in large cities across the United States; most recent statistics on age distribution of the homeless population; most recent statistics on reasons for homelessness and changes in homeless population numbers over the last decade. Students will collect their data and present the information graphically, using a bar graph, a pie chart, or a line graph. Ask each group to explain their graph. After each group has reported as a class draw some conclusions on what the data indicates about the problem of homelessness in the United States today.

Teacher Resources

Romare Bearden Foundation

The Romare Bearden Foundation was established in 1990 as a non-profit organization by the estate of Romare Bearden (1911-1988) to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of this preeminent American artist. The website contains a vast amount of diverse information related to the artwork and life of Romare Bearden as well as lesson plans.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture

Since its founding in 1974, the dream of the first visionaries has elevated to unforeseen levels. Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, October 2009 marked the opening of the Afro-American Cultural Center as the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. The naming of the new facility is in honor of Harvey Bernard Gantt, a well-respected community leader and businessman. He is a trailblazer as the first African-American student admitted to Clemson University and later served as Charlotte’s first African-American mayor. The center offers workshops, lectures and numerous other educational programs.

The Mint Museum Uptown (18)

The Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally-renowned Mint Museum of Craft + Design. Located uptown, the Mint Museum Uptown is part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Along with housing the Romare Bearden Memory Train, the Mint Uptown has numerous educational classes and resources.

Romare Bearden Southern Recollections mini-wiki and novel (19/20)

This miniwiki was created by Joyce Weaver of the Mint Museum Uptown location. Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections celebrates the nearly half-century career of Charlotte-born Bearden at the centennial of his birth. Born in 1911 on Graham Street, Bearden’s childhood memories of Charlotte and the South gave inspiration to his art throughout his life. This landmark exhibition demonstrates Bearden’s mastery and illustrates his explorations of the South through more than 70 works of art drawn from public and private collections. Organized by The Mint Museum, the exhibition will travel nationally and is accompanied by a fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue. In addition, the Family Guide and Gallery Guide created by Mint Museum staff may be downloaded.

The Art of Romare Bearden by Ruth E. Fine and Jacqueline Francis (21)


1. Common Core State Standards Initiative

  1. International Baccalaureate
  2. National Paideia Center Website.
  3. Cooperative Learning Kennasaw State University educational website

  1. Harlem Renaissance
  1. Poems of Remembrance
  1. Romare Bearden Foundation
  1. National History Day
  1. Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
  1. Microsoft Photo Story
  1. The Ohio State Department of History
  1. The House on Mango Street
  1. Creating a Mural
  1. Wall of Respect
  1. Mural Project
  1. Names/Nombres
  1. Homeless
  1. The Mint Museum Uptown
  1. Southern Recollections


Bearden, Romare, Mary Schmidt Campbell, and Sharon F. Patton. Memory and

metaphor: the art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987. New York: Studio Museum in

Harlem:, 1991.

Bearden, Romare, and Richard Carter. The Art of Romare Bearden a resource for

teachers. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2003.

Bearden, Romare, Ruth Fine, and Mary Lee Corlett. The art of Romare Bearden.

Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2003.

Crump, S and Sanderson, E. (2003) Romare Bearden [VHS]. Charlotte, NC: WTVI.

Fine, R. (2003) The Art of Romare Bearden. Washington: National Gallery of Art ; [New

York]: In association with Harry N. Abrams.

Greenberg, J. (2003) 2. Romare Bearden: collage of memories. New York: Harry N.


Hartfield, C. (2002) 10. Me and Uncle Romie: a story inspired by the life and art of Romare Bearden. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.

Stephens, Pamela Geiger. (2007) Dropping in on Romare Bearden [DVD]. Glenview, IL:

Crystal Productions.

Shange, Ntozake. I live in music. New York, NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1994.

Stewart, Frank. Romare Bearden. San Francisco: Pomegranate, 2004.