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Learning About Community with Artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson

written by: alisonc • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 1/5/2012

This article outlines an art lesson plan in which the art teacher introduces students to the concept of community and the work of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson.

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    Lesson Overview

    In this art lesson plan, the art educator will lead the students in several activities in which they explore the concept of community. These activities include a back-and-forth discussion about what makes up a community and an acrostic activity in which students define all of the various aspects of community. After these two activities, the teacher will read out loud Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson's book "A Street Called Home," a book she wrote about the community in which she lived when she was growing up. The lesson will conclude with another discussion about this book.

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    Student Objectives

    In this lesson, students will:

    • Discuss the definition of community, and complete an acrostic on the word "Community".
    • Discuss what makes up a community.
    • Identify the different communities one might belong to.
    • Discuss the people in specific communities (such as a neighborhood community, a school community), and the role they play in the community.
    • Listen to their teacher read the book "A Street Called Home" by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson.
    • Answer questions the teacher poses about the book "A Street Called Home".

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    Learning Activities

    1) The art educator will begin by giving the students an overview of the day's lesson, and will start the discussion with the question, "What is a community"? The teacher will write the students' responses on the board.

    2) Next, the teacher will pose the question, "What communities do you belong to?" and write students' responses on the board.

    3) The teacher will then ask the students to brainstorm the different qualities of a community (in other words, what makes a particular group of people a community? What makes a particular place a part of a community?, etc.), and after doing so, will write the word "COMMUNITY" as an acrostic on the board. The teacher will go around the room and ask individual students to provide a word or phrase for each letter in "COMMUNITY".

    4) Narrowing down the discussion, the teacher will have the students discuss their school community by identifying the people who make up the community and the role they play in the community.

    5) The teacher will then transition the discussion by telling the students s/he will be reading them the book "A Street Called Home", written by artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. The book is about the people who made the community in which she grew up special for her.

    6) After reading the book, the teacher will ask the students to provide adjectives describing Robinson's community. The final question the teacher will pose to the students is: "Would you like to live in Aminah Robinson's community? Why or why not?" The students will provide their responses orally.

    7) The teacher will conclude the lesson by having the students line up quietly by the door and wait for their regular teacher to take them back to their classroom.