Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid Growing Up in America Through Art and Literature

Author: Joyce Arnosky


Penn Alexander School

Year: 2010

Seminar: American Literature and American Painting, 1840 to 1940

Grade Level: 5

Keywords: American History, childhood

School Subject(s): English, Literature

This interdisciplinary unit for 5th grade is designed to be taught over the course of approximately three to four weeks with time at the end to complete a culminating project. Students will examine art and literature from the colonial period through the late 19th century to learn what it was like to be a child during this time of great change in America’s history.  They will study paintings for their functional, historical, and artistic content, and create their own works of art using several of the media studied. Students will read selections from a variety of literary genres of the period, including poetry, personal narratives, and fiction, and respond through journals, narrative and expository writing. As a culminating activity, students will contribute to the historical record of childhood by creating a visual and literary document of their own place in the history of childhood in America.

Download Unit: Arnosky-unit.pdf

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