Art and Identity: Communities, Neighborhoods and Self

Natalie Jones, Visual Art, West Charlotte High

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


The curriculum unit will use visual art techniques and various writing activities to teach students how to use art as visual language. The students will learn about neighborhoods, identity through journaling, writing prompts and by creating a culminating mixed media suitcase. Using found materials and creative writing, this curriculum unit will address three key questions: How does the world see you? How do you see yourself? How would you like to be seen by those around you? The discussion questions will be helpful in getting students to understand that identity is the way that we recognize and express ourselves. Uncontrollable factors of identity include, but not limited to, race or ethnic background, gender or physical characteristics.

Students will began with an introduction to discovering self-identity by creating an altered book that will be use regularly as their visual diary or journal. Through different art and writing activities, students will make discoveries and connections that will help them discover more about themselves, their respective communities and the world. For the final writing assignment, students will learn how to write an artist statement and arrange an exhibition for their mixed media self-portraits. This unit can be adapted to fit any high school grade level, but it can also be easily adapted for younger grades.