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Linguistic Meanings through Figurative Language in Langston Hughes’s Poetry, Faith Ringgold’s Quilts/textiles and Romare Bearden’s Collages

My intentions are to have the seventh grade students reflect and discuss social themes that were prevalent during the Harlem Renaissance period, then compare and contrast them to social themes of today. Students will discuss point of view as expressed in Langston Hughes poems and Romare Bearden's collages; they will also discusss the artistic principles that contributed to the mood of Bearden’s work. Students will reflect on the multiple purposes artists had for creating work the Harlem Renaissance. They will describe and analyze how personal and cultural experiences influenced the development of the Romare Bearden's collages and Langston Hughes poetry. They will also compare the work of these early 20th century artists to that of contemporary quilting/textile artist Faith Ringgold.

In directed individual responses, students will be asked to describe, compare, and reflect on both Harlem Renaissance artworks and art found in Philadelphia. They will compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, are in the same historical period or have similar cultural content. Students will describe and demonstrate ways in which reading and writing are interrelated with the visual arts. Finally, students will collect images that utilize figurative language: metaphor, simile, irony and personification. Within cooperative groups, they will use these materials to create collages. The curriculum seeks to make students aware of the ties between various art forms (prose, poetry, and visual art) in the Harlem Renaissance and today.

Kemo Donita Logan
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