ALEX Learning Activity


Harlem Renaissance Inspired Art

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Asia Hester
System:Huntsville City
School:Academy For Academics & Arts
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2072
Harlem Renaissance Inspired Art
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:
Not Applicable

Students will use inspiration from Jacob Lawrence and Aaron Douglas to create their own Harlem Renaissance-inspired artwork. 

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 6
United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
4 ) Identify cultural and economic developments in the United States from 1900 through the 1930s.

•  Describing the impact of various writers, musicians, and artists on American culture during the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age
Examples: Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Andrew Wyeth, Frederic Remington, W. C. Handy, Erskine Hawkins, George Gershwin, Zora Neale Hurston (Alabama)

•  Identifying contributions of turn-of-the-century inventors
Examples: George Washington Carver, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright (Alabama)

•  Describing the emergence of the modern woman during the early 1900s
Examples: Amelia Earhart, Zelda Fitzgerald, Helen Keller, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Washington, suffragettes, suffragists, flappers (Alabama)

•  Identifying notable persons of the early 1900s
Examples: Babe Ruth, Charles A. Lindbergh, W. E. B. Du Bois, John T. Scopes (Alabama)

•  Comparing results of the economic policies of the Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover Administrations
Examples: higher wages, increase in consumer goods, collapse of farm economy, extension of personal credit, stock market crash, Immigration Act of 1924

Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Identify cultural developments in the US from 1900 through the 1930s by describing the impact of various writers, musicians, and artists on American culture during the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age.
  • Identify contributions of turn-of-the century inventors.
  • Describe the emergence of the modern woman.
  • Identifying notable persons of the early 1900s.
  • Compare results of various administrative economic policies of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Jazz Age
  • suffragettes
  • suffragists
  • flappers
  • personal credit
  • stock market crash
  • Immigration Act of 1924
Students know:
  • The cultural and economic developments of the early 1900s.
Students are able to:
  • Characterize the impact of notable people and events that shape our world.
  • Compare multiple points of view to explain economic policies.
Students understand that:
  • Major cultural and economic changes took place in the US during the early 1900's.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.6.4- Identify at least one or more inventions and inventors of the late 1800s and early 1900s, including Thomas Edison (practical light bulb), Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), George Washington Carver (uses for the peanut), Wright Brothers (airplane), and Henry Ford (affordable car); illustrate the cultural changes of the early 1900s presented by at least one or more individuals including, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth, W. C. Handy, and Charles Lindbergh.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 6
Visual Arts
2) Formulate an artistic investigation and discovery of relevant content for creating art.

Example: Make, share, and revise a list of ideas and preliminary sketches.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Investigate, Plan, Make
Essential Questions:
EU: Artists and designers shape artistic investigations, following or breaking with traditions in pursuit of creative artmaking goals.
EQ: How does knowing the contexts, histories, and traditions of art forms help create works of art and design? Why do artists follow or break from established traditions? How do artists determine what resources and criteria are needed to formulate artistic investigations?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Artistic ideas and work
  • Formal and conceptual vocabulary
  • Innovation
  • Investigation
  • Two-dimensional
  • Three-dimensional
  • Experimentation
  • Conservation
  • Craftsmanship
  • Linear perspective
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Prior knowledge
  • Museum
  • Gallery
  • Curator
  • Digital
  • Horizon Line
  • Brainstorming
  • Research
Skill Examples:
  • Make, share and revise a list of ideas and preliminary sketches.
  • Use introductory skills, techniques, and elements of art to create a composition
  • Demonstrate drawing techniques, such as hatching, cross-hatching, shading, and stippling.
  • Create a group project about a current or world event.
  • Examine careers and identify and role - play various jobs of artists.
  • Research a subject or idea that has personal meaning to create a work of art.
  • Use the elements of visual arts to create an artwork that depicts emotions.
  • Use a variety of media and techniques in two and three dimensions to create imagery from experience, observation and imagination.
  • Demonstrate proper clean-up and/or disposal of equipment and materials.
  • Demonstrate art room safety and procedures.
  • Design an environmentally area for the school such as a library or other multi-use learning area.
  • Engage for the purpose of personal reflection and ongoing revision, in group critiques.
  • Reflect through journal writing artist intent.
Learning Objectives:

  • Students will make connections to the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance using artwork from the time period. 
  • Students will create their own artwork about the Harlem Renaissance using inspiration from one of the artists they studied. 
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

1. This activity should follow the Jacob Lawrence Migration Series See, Think, Wonder Learning Activity (Before/Engage) and the Harlem Renaissance Art - Compare and Contrast Learning Activity (During/Explore/Explain)

2. The students will use their investigations of Jacob Lawrence and Aaron Douglas along with their prior knowledge to create a composition that depicts emotions related to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. 

3. Have the students write a brief artist's statement to describe their work and how it relates to the topic.

Assessment Strategies:

Students will write an artist's statement to describe how their work relates to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. The artist's statements should include examples of how their artwork represents the Great Migration and/or the Harlem Renaissance and how their piece was inspired by one of the artists that they studied. Students statements should consider the theme, mood/message, medium, and historical context of their artwork. 

Students final compositions will be graded using a rubric. 

Visual Art Assessment Rubric

Advanced Preparation:

The teacher should be familiar with the Great Migration of the 1920s and the Harlem Renaissance.

The teacher should make sure students have access to a computer and test the internet connection before the lesson to make sure students will be able to complete research.

The teacher should make copies of the assessment rubric before the lesson. 

The teacher will also need to prepare paper and an assortment of art supplies for students to use for their compositions (markers, crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, paints, magazines etc.).  

Variation Tips (optional):
Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: