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This unit will introduce the concept of ekphrastic poetry to 8th grade students to challenge their way of thinking and learning through verbal and visual art. Specifically, students will examine poems and murals to discover how poets and artists effectively communicate an idea in their minds to an audience using text and paint. This analysis will enrich a student’s appreciation of how various art forms mutually inspire one another. Through this immersion, students will appreciate art and poetry to such a degree that they begin to recognize the value of those artistic forms in their own lives. It is imperative that students have the opportunity to possess meaningful experiences with poetic language and aesthetic images to build personal confidence as poets and artists. This will be accomplished with lessons that compare poetry with visual artworks and serve as a guide to viewing murals as a means of communication through originality and imagery. Throughout the unit, students will experience profound dialogue with ekphrastic poems. They will also emulate the poets in writing original poems about murals in their community. Lastly, students will collaborate to create a mural that effectively communicates their communal ideas as artists and poets.
(Developed for Visual Arts, grade 8; recommended for Visual Arts and Language Arts, grades 6-12)
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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