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Profile a Minority Artist

Students will conduct research to learn about a modern-day minority artist who works in the entertainment field–theater, music, art, television, movies, etc. They will create an illustrated profile highlighting key aspects of the artist's personal and professional life. Based on that profile, they will write a one-act play, dialogue or monologue to tell about the artist.

PROCESS:

  1. Tell students to select a minority artist who currently works in any aspect of the entertainment field-theater, music, art, television, movies, etc. 
  2. Instruct students to conduct research to learn more about that person. Encourage them to identify both personal details and professional accomplishments that have shaped the artist's life. Challenge students to find and print out photos of these key events. 
  3. Supply poster board, markers and glue. Instruct students to arrange the photos on the poster board in a logical order. Then have them write and attach a caption for each photo.
  4. Based on what they've learned, challenge students to write a dramatic one-act play, dialogue or monologue about the artist's life. Encourage them to incorporate all of the events featured on the illustrated profile.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to present their monologues or plays to the class. Check to make sure each event featured on the illustrated profile is included in the presentation. 

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:     

Grades 3-4:
As a class, brainstorm a list of minority artists currently working in the entertainment field. Then divide the class into small groups. Encourage groups to select an artist that all group members are familiar with. Provide assistance as they conduct research. You may want to pre-select sites students' are allowed to use. Tell groups to include both personal and professional highlights in their illustrated profiles. Challenge them to incorporate that information into a one-act play in which all group members have an active role.

Grades 5-6:
As a class, brainstorm a list of minority artists currently working in the entertainment field. Then divide the class into small groups. Encourage groups to select an artist that all group members are familiar with. Instruct them to conduct research to learn more about the artist's life. Tell groups to include at least five personal and five professional highlights in their illustrated profiles. Challenge them to incorporate that information into a one-act play that highlights a turning point in the artist's career. All group members should have an active role in the presentation.

Grades 7-8:
Assign each student a partner. Encourage pairs to select an artist that both partners are familiar with. Give students time to conduct research. Instruct them to evaluate the information they collect to identify the most important personal and professional events in the artist's life. Encourage them to include only those details on their illustrated profiles. Then have partners craft a dialogue between an interviewer and the artist. Have partners present their dialogue to the class.

Grades 9-10:
Encourage each student to select a minority artist who works in the entertainment field. Give the class time to conduct research. Challenge students to evaluate the information they collect to identify the most important personal and professional events in the artist's life. Encourage them to include only those details on their illustrated profiles. Then have each student write a dramatic monologue about the artist's life. Tell students to be creative in their approach. Invite students to present their one-person acts to the class.