Thematic Curricula Connecting Art and History Through Inquiry
Works of art are special kinds of historical sources that spark inquiry in the classroom in remarkable ways. Developed by educators at the Art Institute of Chicago, Art + History is an innovative method for using art as a primary source for historical inquiry. The method takes students through five stages of exploration: Look, Share, Wonder, Contextualize, Reflect. In a video featured on the Art + History website, high school students explore multiple perspectives on a historical moment of revolution, using a work of art—José Clemente Orozco’s Zapata (1930)—as a starting point. Students then apply their new understandings by reconsidering questions of their own time. Through the process, they contend with essential questions such as, How can artworks provide a unique lens on the past? What’s beyond the frame? What other perspectives can I consider? How are these ideas still relevant today? While the work of art featured in the video is figurative, the Art + History method can be used with works of art in any style or medium.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and maker education are viewed and defined differently no matter where you go. To me, the focus of any work in my STEM classes or in my makerspace is on the process and not the product. But STEM shouldn’t be viewed as a “special class” or a separate subject. There are ways to integrate STEM education and making throughout the school year and in every subject.
Imagineering in a Box is designed to pull back the curtain to show students in middle school and high school how artists, designers, and engineers work together to create theme parks. The program, from Khan Academy, takes a behind-the-scenes look with Disney Imagineers and makes it an active learning experience by weaving together videos and exercises into lessons that culminate in student-driven projects.
Produced by Historic Hudson Valley, People Not Property introduces students, teachers, and the interested public to the history of Northern enslavement, separate from the more familiar history of antebellum Southern slavery, by exploring history through personal stories.