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Monday Morning Ready02.05.2016
Jumpstart Your Week!

Hollywood continues to be rocked by a backlash to the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations and in the film industry at large. But it doesn't have to look far for inspiration. Just turn on the TV.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Why do you think people are upset about the lack of diversity in Hollywood films?

Grade 5-6

Do you think TV shows and Hollywood films should reflect the racial makeup of modern American society? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

According to the article, Hollywood studios have been bankrolling fewer films and focusing on bigger blockbusters that can sell tickets around the globe. Do you think that's a valid reason to have so little diversity in the film industry? Why or why not?

Grade 9-10

Spike Lee and several other minority Hollywood members have announced that they won't attend the Oscars this year. What impact do you think these actions will have on the film industry?

LESSON PLAN
Profile a Minority 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.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
African American Artists: Masking Matters
This set of lesson provides ideas for a study of the art and literature of the Harlem Renaissance. Students create abstract works inspired by poetry and music and write poems and stories based on paintings.

Freedom Songs
In this lesson students listen to freedom songs and then create their own version of one of the songs. The lesson is part of the resource, “Students Sit for Civil Rights.”

The Changing Demographics of America
Estimates show that the United States population will expand by 100 million over the next 40 years. Read this Smithsonian article to learn whether or not that’s a reason to worry.

Latino Family Stories
In these lessons, students examine the work of American painter Carmen Lomas Garza. The youngest students write a story based on a scene from Garza’s childhood. Older students consider the role that culture plays in our lives.

Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
Throughout our nation’s history, African Americans have faced enormous struggles. In this lesson, students analyze and interpret photographs of notable African Americans. They discuss related scenarios and explore what it means to take a stand.

Blues poetry of Langston Hughes
Students learn the structure of the blues stanza, both in music and in the blues-based poems of Langston Hughes. This set of four lessons is divided into grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. Younger students compose their own three-line blues poems. Older students listen for details of the Great Migration in recordings of rural and urban blues from Smithsonian Folkways.
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