As a result of the murder of Marcelo Lucero, there were many positive efforts in the community to embrace diversity and build respect for all. One of these was the creation of public art to reflect feelings and attitudes about the murder and to create a positive and hopeful message for the future. The use of art can be a wonderful way for students to express ideas about diversity, respect and social justice concerns.
The following guideline provides instruction on how to lead such a process with students.
Age-level: middle and high school students
Note: This activity process will need to take place over several class periods or student-group meetings. If not an art teacher, consider joining with one to assist and support this process.
Ideas for Implementation:
1. Consider using the “Embracing Differences” video as a prompting guide with the class or student group.
2. After discussing the students’ reactions to the video, explain that they will now be able to develop their own artwork to spread a message about the importance of respecting diversity and combating hate.
3. Assign students to either work independently or in small groups to complete the project. If working in groups, direct each group to work together to come up with artwork and an accompanying message that exemplifies their themes. Explain that everyone should have a role in the development – some group members may work on the message or language, others on the design or artwork. The artwork can be newly developed or created using photos or images from magazines, Internet, etc. The accompanying language or message could be original work or draw from existing poetry, writings or quotes.
4. After providing time in and out of class for the artwork to be developed, have students present their works to one another and describe the message and meaning of their efforts.
5. This project could be used in several ways beyond the specific class/group assignment:
· Display the artwork in the classroom or around the school to highlight the important messages and ideas.
· Invite the students to bring their artwork to a school board or staff meeting to discuss their learning from the activity and the important messages that they want to convey about their school environment...
· Plan a meeting with local government or human relations committee to explore ways to use the artwork in the larger community. The artwork may lend themselves for use at community events, community beautification projects, or other city-wide campaigns, etc.
· Invite students to develop additional ideas to use their art projects with the larger school community!