Global Arts Language Arts Culture Tradition Indigenous Communities

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


It is important to choose a topic that students can relate to and get enthusiastic about. Think about the final product before you begin creating lesson plans.  Where do you want them to end up?  I wish I had given previous year's lesson plans a review before thinking about this year's class.  It always helps to get other perspectives.  The lesson plans of the other 2019 groups can be valuable as well in helping to find direction.  The students really like to perform at least a piece of their final product on stage at the closing banquet.  There were some wonderful poems and spoken word pieces at this year's 2018 banquet.  As far as the physical product, students like to talk about it and what they learned throughout the week at the banquet presentation.  Creativity and originality are great motivators to get them excited on the first day.  This is a rewarding and inspiring experience.  Enjoy it!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Thank you

I want to thank you all for making this past week such an amazing experience. I appreciated all of your insight and help. I wish I could've attended the ending festivities and the last day of class, but I know that you all rocked it so I wasn't worried. Good luck on your next endeavors. Hope to see you all again soon!


Friday, July 13, 2018

I have been blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people.  Thank you all for enriching my Summer and for all that you did for the Balfour Scholars!

Group 4, Day 2

Get Free: Gender Liberation through Art and Activism, Day 2

This has been my favorite day of the week so far, but I'm still looking forward to the presentations today!

On this day, we went back to clear some misunderstandings in the idea of gender. We explained the difference between sex, gender, and sexual orientation. We also showed students a video on how different individuals expressed their gender. Just after that, we were able to see some huge differences in how they viewed gender. They no longer saw gender as they way in which individuals are defined at birth.

Following this activity, we presented some global and national headlines and statistics relating to gender inequity. The presentation of these statistics then lead to an activity where groups investigated different kinds of gender inequities. The categories were inequity in the workplace, art and entertainment, education, and gender roles and expression. And, the students interacted with articles, videos, and images we provided for them. I think this activity was successful in opening students' eyes to different issues around the world. It also helped them understand perspectives that they had never been exposed to. All students interacted with the materials thoroughly.

The last activity was short, about 10-15 minutes long, but my favorite. I didn't know how students would react to writing poems about their own gender, but I think they got really inspired after hearing Alex's poem. Within a few minutes, students already came up with great lines, and several of them were eager to share even as they left out door. It was a really fun day to see all their creativity.

Group 4, Day 1

 Global Gender Liberation through Art and Activism, Day 1

On the first day, we were kind of thrown off with managing time. But, I think at the beginning, students were already getting interested in the topics they would be learning about. Part of this, I think, is because students had the impression that our workshop would be more engaging than the classes they had earlier. Just as class started and we put up our colorful PowerPoint (thanks to Alex), I could hear students bubbling with curiosity and excitement on the question we put up front: What is gender?

Again, to mention the issues we had with time, we had to cut out one of our activities. A lot of time was spent on our first activity, the icebreaker. In the icebreaker, students drew and made stickers that represented who they were as individuals. Some of the suggestions we gave were to draw themselves as a superhero, villain, game character, or tattoo. But in general, they were free to draw whatever they wanted. Each of them then shared their drawings with the entire class. The students were very creative. Some of the drawings I remember were a bowl of salad, light bulb and protector of cats. The students seemed to have fun with this too, and they were eager to share the stories behind their drawings.

Afterwards, we had students create lists on what they thought the classroom norms should be. Many students were active in this discussion, and they were very thoughtful. They talked about respecting others and not sharing private, personal information outside of the classroom.

The day then ended with an activity in defining gender. Because of time constraints, students weren't able to come up with their own definitions. However, we were able to expose students to various definitions of gender: one from the Webster's dictionary, a scholarly source, and two from different cultures. The students were a bit confused by these definitions, being unfamiliar with terms like non-binary and confusing sex with gender. It was clear that we had to address these misunderstandings the next day.

Perhaps my group started the week a bit too seriously.  We seemed to be losing students interest the first couple of days.  We needed to lay a good foundation of information about human trafficking in order to proceed with the week's activities but in retrospect I might have added some more active learning components.  My mindset was as a classroom teacher imparting information that would be needed to successfully pass a test rather than approaching the experience in a more "fun" way. By Wednesday we seemed to get students in a groove that sparked their interest.  From there, they took off on activities for Friday's presentation.  I really look forward to Friday's display and presentation.  I think it is one that students will be very proud of. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Group 1 Lesson Plans

Group Name: Poverty near and far: Marginalized Populations and Indigenous Existence

See lessons in GoogleDocs as well: 

  • Poverty is a global experience
  • Poverty is systemic
  • Poverty is an intersectional experience (gender, race, ethincity, age, etc.)
  • Poverty is also affected by access to income, land, materials, education, etc.
  • Empowerment through poverty
  • Systemic stigma of poverty
  • Doesn't have to be shameful
  • Confronting the system
  • Finding/Giving voice to those who have been silenced
  • Discussing poverty in personal relationships and in a broader context
  • Self-awareness

Where am I now? Intro to poverty and stereotyping
What is poverty?

  1. Sticky notes
1. What is poverty? What does poverty look like?
Affinity mapping: Pass out sticky notes. 4 per student. Buzz words and drawings of what poverty looks like to them. At table groups, share these sticky notes. Can any of these ideas be sorted together? Make groups or categories. Share with large group these categories- post on paper with title. Each group can share and add to these “categories” or add more categories until we’ve made sense of all of our ideas and grouped them together.
2. Explore the different areas poverty affects someone's life (personal, professional, social, health, safety, life outcomes) and how it varies across age and race.
3. Intro to "systemic" poverty and intersectionality.

Perhaps use four corners activity on Tuesday at the end of Monday to fill in time?
Follow up notes:

Where am I in that system? Systemic poverty
How is poverty systemic?
Sources of income and land
Gender and single parent homes
  1. 4 giant sheets of paper
  2. Student journals/notebooks
  3. I Am Poem example
  4. Note-taking/summarizing handout
1. Recognizing your own intersectionality: Understanding the oppression of others and of yourself:

2. Four corners activity. Four “Identity” descriptors will be labeled on large sheets of paper (one descriptor per sheet) and placed around the room. Students will be split into groups and will discuss how that identity label affects their lives. Ideas will be written down on sticky notes and added to the posters.

Students will travel to all four posters in “concentric circles” in opposite directions to mix up the discussion groups.

I Am Poem: Students write an I Am poem - share out if desired

2. Discuss poverty locally (Indiana/Midwest/the Bronx).

3. Introduce "Indigenous" and share understanding of poverty in Navajo Nation.

4. Compare Indigenous peoples of Canada (continue intersectionality by addressing gender, age, history of marginalization).

5. Poverty of Maori peoples of New Zealand:
One article will be passed out to half of the classroom and another article will be sent passed out to the other half of the classroom. Students will read and best summarize or jot down notes to make sense of the material. Then, students will be paired up with someone who read the other article and then share out: share notes and jot down ideas. Then students can analyze the two to make sense of it all- what’s the central idea of this information?

6. How can we make sense of this? What are you feeling? Are you angry? Sad? Confused? Frustrated? For whom? Write it out. Express yourself on paper (large sheets of paper-- maybe put them in groups and 5ish people express themselves on each sheet, together or separate but all to explain the complexity of the situation).  
Follow up notes:

Empowerment: Finding and Giving a Voice
Role playing scenarios: finding voices in different scenarios
  1. Books: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
  2. printed reading materials for William Kamkwamba
  3. Sticky notes
  4. Role playing scenarios
1. Continue discussion of intersectionality, marginalization, etc.

2. Go deeper into Indigenous experiences. Do they have a voice, collectively or individually? If not, who took it? Who has it? Do you have a voice? Who decides who has a voice? Systemic.

3. How do we give someone voice? Can anyone give it? What can you do personally?

4. Making sense of your options, what can you do? William Kamkwamba.
Read article, then watch video: students write down “what stuck with me” on a sticky notes.  Students share those observations with table groups. Students can write down in their journal things that they observed or are hearing from others that stand out to them. At table groups, number students (1-4, 1-5, 1-6, etc.) and then ask those numbers to get up and meet with all of the other like-numbers to share with a different group of students. Finally, share out with the whole group, paste sticky notes to whiteboard/poster paper, etc.

5. Role play scenarios on how to discuss poverty and overcome stereotypes. How to address marginalities and oppression. How to express yourself with purpose.
Follow up notes:


Social activism: poster making, chants and spoken word
printed reading materials for Isatou Ceesay
One Plastic Bag (book)
1. Empowerment model

2. Isatou Ceesay example:

Ask students to read the article, then watch video and write down “what stuck with me” on sticky notes. SNOWBALL DISCUSSION: Students will first discuss in pairs, then with their table groups, then pair up table groups, then pair up large groups, then have large group discussion.

3. Activism in the media-- what moves you? What does activism mean to you? How does it affect you? What would you consider to be "successful" activism?

4. Discuss issues with giving voice/ using your own voice and again silencing.

5. POSTER MAKING-- march for poverty! (or whatever topic the students feel passionate about. Maybe one poster for poverty and one for something they are passionate about. Can do groups or individual projects).
Follow up notes: