5th Graders Create Powerful Literary Narrative Art Projects
Ruth Kornblatt-Stier

Fifth grade students have been participating in a powerful arts integrated curriculum, combining visual art and history. The students have been exploring personal and literary narratives through an artistic medium, inspired by the subjects they have been studying in their Core history classes. 

In Arts Integration Coordinator Veronika Bromberg’s classes, students have been focusing on Faith Ringgold, an artist and writer best known for her narrative quilts. Ms. Bromberg explained that in Ringgold’s quilting, “she tells a story about her childhood growing up in the city. Her work also connects back to her lineage because her ancestors actually used quilting as a form of preserving stories and history during slavery and during the Civil War era.” Students are learning real quilting techniques and are expanding on their own artistic, literary and personal narratives, resulting in each student's project being entirely unique. 

Additionally, with Ms. Bromberg and Core teacher Linda Beasley, students are taking the idea of historical narrative a step further. Combining art, history and creative writing, each student wrote a personal journal entry of what it may have been like to live during the era of slavery. Written on parchment paper, dyed to make it look older with a real wax seal, each narrative is personal, thoughtful and evocative.

In the narrative projects of Ann Sayari’s Core class, students were asked to reflect on their work, answering a number of questions. Freya G. described her poignant rendering of the gate to her much beloved sleepaway camp (artwork above), writing, “This symbolizes how many things are closed due to COVID, particularly my sleepaway camp, which was closed last summer. This painting is important to me because in this painting, it recognizes our longing to attend certain things that we unfortunately cannot do right now.”

  • Middle School

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