Meet the needs of your visual learners while also providing instruction for close reading. With this lesson and activity, students read non-print texts
(self-portraits from famous American artists). First, they practice with the famous painting, “Starry Night.” Then the teacher presents a Power Point with the artists’ portraits. After identifying the details, they make inferences about the artists in the pictures (Mary Cassatt, Xavier Martinez, E.E. Cummings, Archibald Motley, and George Herriman).
After analyzing the images, students use these paintings as inspiration for the creation of their own self-portraits. (Several student samples are provided.) Finally, they use their self-portraits to brainstorm ideas for their own poetry writing. The poems reflect their voices as individuals and as Americans (the poetry lesson is a separate freebie
Please note that this lesson is an individual component of a larger product that encompasses an entire unit on American Voices. If interested, here is the link to the unit:
American Voices Through Poetry, Music & Art
Are you in need of other resources for teaching American Literature? You may be interested in these:
Writing Task Paired Passage: Ain't I a Woman & Phenomenal Woman
Digital Writing Task Resource Road & Harlem
To Kill a Mockingbird
Frederick Douglass & New York Times Article
I've Been to the Mountaintop by MLK, Jr.