This lesson encourages students to write with greater profundity when analyzing an author’s choices regarding figurative language and other poetic techniques. Langston Hughes wrote “Jazzonia,” and Loïs Mailou Jones painted “La Baker.” Students study multimedia that teaches the context, figurative language and other poetic/artistic techniques for the poem and painting. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through short and extended written responses, Socratic Seminar and a written timed essay scored on an AP style rubric.
A TED TALK, “A Mother and Son United by Love and Art,” by Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas is used in this resource. Links to different audio stories, and videos showing the subject matter of the poem, artists, and Josephine Baker help the students gain context for answering the essay assessment. A lesson on rhetorical situation is included as the students examine a New York Times article on Josephine Baker and the current Black Lives Matter movement.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.
There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as the lessons act as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.