Lesson Plan August 2, 2022

Show Me Your Story: Amplifying Underreported Stories Through Printmaking


This unit was created by Jane Kang Lawrence, a high school Visual Arts teacher in New York, NY, as part of the 2021-2022 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program. It is designed for facilitation across approximately four weeks with daily lessons.

For more units created by Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellows in this cohort, click here.

Unit Objectives:

Students will be able to...

  • Engage and make connections with visual art and its voice in society through discussion in English
  • Discuss what might categorize news as underreported and why some stories go unreported
  • Create woodblock/linoleum prints in response to the central theme of an underreported story they select on their own
  • Synthesize and analyze their comprehension of articles explored through the creation of a video
  • Develop and demonstrate presentation skills by introducing and screening their videos

Unit Overview:

In this unit, students will encounter global issues where art is a vehicle to share the underreported story, both in traditional news stories about art and artists and in news stories told through artistic means. Uncovering news outside of mainstream media through the visual arts develops media literacy skills and allows another means for students to have a powerful and just voice to share news.

Through this art project-based unit, multilingual learners (MLLs) will explore news stories supported by the Pulitzer Center and witness how the visual arts are used globally to communicate underreported stories. MLLs can benefit from using art as a vehicle for communication, as it is a fluid language spoken by all. Waste Land, a documentary about artist Vik Muniz, will be viewed in class as examples of empathy in motion. Lessons will be supplemented with an introduction to contemporary artists who use their work to tell stories of underrepresented individuals and groups. During each class, students will engage in discussions in various ways, including circles, small groups, graphic organizers, and note catchers.

After looking at examples of how artists interpret and share global issues through Pulitzer Center news stories and Waste Land, students will begin adapting and creating their own visual response. The students will create a linoleum or woodblock print focusing their visual art skills to tell a story of a person or people whose voices deserve to be amplified. As students create their prints, they will also film their work in progress (similar to a video journal). These videos will include dialogue explaining the artistic process and conclude their filming with a conversation with a viewer outside of class. The conversation will record reactions to both the print and the underreported story.
The two products students will have at the end of their project is: one series of prints, and one 5 minute video. The project concludes with a class or schoolwide film screening.

Performance Task:

Students are encouraged to create a series of woodblock/linoleum prints that uplift an individual or group of underrepresented people based on independent reading and research. Students will explore news using the Pulitzer Center website and create artwork that responds to the individual or people represented in the story of their choice. Their visual responses can be symbolic or illustrative of the story.

Students will also create a video that includes footage of their print in progress and dialogue explaining the artistic process.

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