Leading Through Art-- Student as Change-Maker

Empowering students to use art as a catalyst for change.

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Here is a link to a google doc. of my thinking.  I have examples and a more information on scaling this project. 


Here is a link to the Pitch Video.


Here is a link to a video about the purpose of art as a driving force behind this project.


The purpose of this lesson was for students to think about the power of their voice.  I began the lesson by writing the statement, "Kids have nothing important to say!"  The point of this statement was to get the students to create from a place of passion and not compliance.  We looked at several examples of artists who use their art as a catalyst for change.  Over the course of several weeks, we engaged in activities and discussions to help students find their voice and learn to be a change-maker! 

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Attachments (2)

5-2015:16 2 copy.pdf

Here is a PDF of the project Keynote. The sequence in this attachment, represent a two trimester journey. Please feel free to add questions below if you would like me to expand on any of the slides. As you will see, we embed discussion, artwork, thinking routines and action throughout the project. Taking time to lay the foundation of deep thinking and designing with intent and purpose are extremely important to the creative process.


Here is a short description of the second project in this unit. This description applies to the examples seen above. I use these descriptions along with quotes, images and student examples to help make the creative process visible. As we know the learning happens in the space between knowing and unknowing. The product represents the interpretation, while the process represents the learning and growing.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ellen Deutscher

Hi.  I finally made it here, and... WOW!!  What a wonderfully powerful learning experience.  I'm truly happy you shared it here. There is so much here and I'd love to support you to continue building on this.  These were some of my initial thoughts after reading your post and Donna's comments (it's sort of a stream of consciousness ;)  :
does this need to be need to be scaled?
i wonder how the learnings from this kind of deep learning experience can impact mindsets, behaviors, and cultures at school.
How does the knowledge gained by that student in initial example get carried over on the playground, when discussing bystanders and bullying, when interacting with others on the campus and in students’ lives? 
how did you get students to such a thoughtful place?
I foresee some GHO'ing in our future.  Thank you for posting. :)

Photo of Jason Blair

Thanks Ellen!  "What is GHO'ing"?
Here is a stream back at you:)
I think purposeful and intentional learning that is rooted in students interests and passions should grow organically.  If it is required, it loses its impact.  We are seeing mindsets, behaviors and cultures change at our school as a result of some of these student lead projects.  What we try and do is embed challenges as much as we can and ask students to make connections to the challenges and life.  We have created a host of challenges that align to content standards, social emotional learning, creativity and thinking habits for students to think about and reflect on.  All of the projects I try and create in the art room focus on thinking, reflecting and connecting to student lives first and content supports this learning.  I think we need to make sure all learning is relevant with purpose and intent and that all students can make personal connections to their lives before applying the content.  I am trying to collaborate as much as possible to reflect the learning environment that our students will actually function in.  We don't think and learn in silos, so schools shouldn't be this way either.  

Photo of Ellen Deutscher

Yes!  Beautifully said!  Nos i want to visit your class and school. :) 
GHO is google hangout. Basically google's version of Skype.  Another place to continue conversation. 

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