We Can See Clearly Now – Using Art to Expand Understandings of Personal Cultural Identities

Lecia Shockley, Second Grade, Selwyn Elementary

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum unit uses the practices of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) to involve students in problem solving, growing comfortable in sharing their own ideas, and respecting and learning from their peers’ perspectives.  The questions posed and rigor demanded mirror the expectations students face in their reading and writing instruction.  Practice with these skills using visual texts will build their confidence and skills and increase their success in going deeper and referencing the text in their writing and reading.  Once students become proficient at using VTS, they will apply these strategies to understanding information found in picture book biographies.  Using the practice of list making, students will convey the important information about the individuals they study.  Creating a list poem, students will next communicate what is important about them.  This will be combined with a Cubist art project where students will create self-portraits.  These two items will be displayed as part of a classroom gallery.  This exhibition will provide students with another opportunity to engage in the VTS process to inspect one another’s work and note the similarities and differences found there.