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Art of the Harlem Renaissance

Name: Jeremie Smith

Class/Subject: 7th-8th Grade Social Studies

Big Idea

History can be better understood through the artistic expressions and works created by people
living through the particular historical era being studied.

Essential Questions for the Unit

1. Who were some of the outstanding artists of the Harlem Renaissance and what themes
are common in the art of the time period?
2. How does the art of the Harlem Renaissance inform us about historical events and trends
of the era, including The Great Migration, Urbanization, and World War I?

Content Standards:

16.D.5 (US) Analyze the relationship between an issue in United States social history and the
related aspects of political, economic and environmental history.

16.D.4b (US) Describe unintended social consequences of political events in United States

18.A.4 Analyze the influence of cultural factors including customs, traditions, language,
media, art and architecture in developing pluralistic societies.


1. Art and Artists of the Harlem Renaissance PowerPoint

2. Digital Projector

3. Six different Primary and Secondary Source Packets for Group Assignment
a. Art as History – Group 1 Packet
b. Art as History – Group 2 Packet
c. Art as History – Group 3 Packet
d. Art as History – Group 4 Packet
e. Art as History – Group 5 Packet
f. Art as History – Group 6 Packet

4. Art as History - Group Presentations PowerPoint

Day 1:
Start of Class: Ask students to write a 2-3 sentence journal entry (journals are a recurring assignment in the
4-5 class and are checked bi-weekly) answering the question:
minutes  What are some examples of what inspires artists to create works of art?

Introduction of Lesson:
2  Handout black and white copies of the entire “Art and Artists of the Harlem Renaissance PowerPoint”.
minutes  Have students take out a piece of paper to take additional notes over the Power Point lesson and lecture

Lesson Instruction:
35-40  Present the Art and Artists of the Harlem Renaissance PowerPoint
Assessments/Checks for Understanding: Assign Homework Journal Assignment as outlined on the last
4-5 slide of the PowerPoint Presentation:
minutes  Choose 1 question from the list below and write a 2-3 paragraph response to the Art of the Harlem

1. How is the Art shown in the Presentation similar or different than other Art you have seen? Cite
specific artists or styles of contemporary art and specific artists or artworks of the Harlem

2. The Harlem Renaissance had some general themes mentioned in the presentation. How are these
themes related to other aspects of the history of the time period previously discussed in class? Cite
specific artists or artworks.

3. Think about other class discussions on music and literature of the Harlem Renaissance. Can you
describe any Art, Music, or Literature popular today that might have been influenced by the Art,
Literature, or Music of the Harlem Renaissance?

Day 2:
4-5 minutes Start of Class: Ask students if they have any questions or comments regarding Day 1’s Presentation or
Journal Assignment.
20 minutes Introduction of Lesson and Lesson Instruction:
 Divide class into 6 groups of 3-4 students each.
 Hand each group an “Art as History” Packet.
 Answer any questions about the assignment and circle around the room being sure that every individual s
is engaged and participating in group presentation.

20-30 Assessments/Checks for Understanding:

minutes  Set up “Art as History - Group Presentations PowerPoint” for students’ use during group presentations.
 Monitor time and ask clarifying questions as each group presents their lesson over the “Art as History”
packet assigned to them.