Guides for Youth Programming Poster 17-A Elementary
Name of Poster: The Migration Series, no.57, 1940–1941
Poster # : 17-A
Artist(s) or Maker(s): Jacob Lawrence
Object(s) Identification: Painting
Owner or Venue: The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
Use Visual Thinking Strategies to discuss the poster in depth.
Use the Whole Book Approach to share one or more of the programming books suggested below to connect library resources to the poster via subject, style, or artist.
Using one or two intriguing sentences per book, booktalk a number of books from the bibliography to whet the appetite of your audience for more reading. Give books to interested takers for later checkout.
Add crafts, music, activities, etc. as your style dictates.
School Age (6–12)
The resources listed in the bibliography include a lot of information about The Great Migration series and Lawrence’s style, i.e., his use of flat, primary and secondary colors; simplified abstract shapes; diagonal lines; pattern; and subject matter related to the everyday life and history of African Americans. Reading through these materials will help you respond intelligently to children’s comments as they comment on the poster and the books. Find more information about Lawrence and this series.
The Great Migration was the movement of African Americans from the South to the North around World War I in order to escape racism, seek jobs in industry, and find a better life. When you share Lawrence’s book, discuss the fact that this is a numbered series of paintings, with captions, so that the text of the book was written by Lawrence to be viewed with the paintings on the wall (this is not typical), and that the paintings were to be displayed in a particular order. You may want to read brief excerpts in Lawrence’s own words from his introduction in the book. You could also show clips from the DVD or video listed in the bibliography.
(These can be read in a traditional manner or with the interactive picture book method described in Using the Whole Book Approach.)
Lawrence, Jacob. The Great Migration. HarperCollins, 1993.
Lawrence’s use of text and image together suggests a comic book/graphic novel format. The worksheets section of the Educator Page at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. presents an activity called “Chronicle Your Own Adventure” that will help you facilitate an activity with young people involving sequential art and journeys in imitation of Lawrence. Ask kids to think of a journey they took (across the street or across the ocean) and think about how to break it down into a series of panels, using words and pictures to tell the story. Another wonderful resource about sequential storytelling is James Sturm’s Adventures in Cartooning (First Second, 2009).
Share some of the ideas about the emotive qualities of shape and composition as described in Molly Bang’s Picture This: How Pictures Work (Little Brown, 1991). Look at some of the work by Jacob Lawrence to see how he uses shape and line to create sadness, strength, calm, etc. Using Bang’s book as a resource, ask the children to think about a time when they felt a particularly strong emotion. Offer paper and scissors for them to use the shapes to explore that moment.
Provide poster paint, paper, and brushes. Offer children a choice of a Langston Hughes poem. Selected children’s titles include Langston Hughes’ The Dream Keeper and Other Poems (Knopf, 1994) and Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel (Sterling, 2006). Explain Hughes’ importance as a contemporary of Lawrence and figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Have the young people each create a contribution for their own series (by the whole group), using the poetry of Hughes as the “captions” and their own ideas for the art. Display!
By River, By Rail. DVD. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 1998. (Elementary, Teen, Older Teen, Adult)
Duggleby, John. Story Painter: The Life of Jacob Lawrence. Chronicle Books, 1998. (Elementary, Teen)
Everett, Gwen. John Brown: One Man Against Slavery. Rizzoli, 1993. (Elementary, Teen)
Howard, Nancy Shroyer. Jacob Lawrence: American Scenes, American Struggles. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications, 1996. (Elementary)
Jacob Lawrence: The Glory of Expression. Videocassette. Chappaqua, NY: L&S Video, 1996.(Elementary, Teen, Older Teen, Adult)
Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. Washington, D.C.: The Phillips Collection, 2003. (Older Teen, Adult)
Lawrence, Jacob. The Great Migration. HarperCollins, 1993. (Elementary, Teen)
———. Harriet and the Promised Land. Simon and Schuster, 1968. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Leach, Deborah. I See You, I See Myself: The Young Jacob Lawrence. Washington, D.C.: The Phillips Collection, 2001. (Elementary)
Wright, Suzanne. The Choice Is Yours: Highlighting the Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence. Washington, D.C.: The Phillips Collection, 2003. (Elementary)
|Older Teen||Ages 16–18|