Kurt and Marimar guided us through vocabulary and movement activities, using our bodies and our voices to connect to the Celia Cruz biography for children “I Call Myself Celia / Me Llamo Celia”.
Kurt walked us through the steps and stages of Habla’s approach to teaching and learning.
For more information on the performance cycle, including detailed descriptions of classroom activities, investigate this website: http://www.artslit.org/handbook.php
We then drew on themes from the text about the impact of the places we come from, and recalling specific sense-based memories of those places in our own lives, we shared brief stories with each other.
We identified what was the most resonant sentence, phrase, or word in the book for each of us, and then explained why we had selected it, creating a personal sense of ownership of the text and generating rich social discourse through hearing our many variations in interpretation and meaning.
We divided a piece of paper into 4 sections, where we did some brainstorming about the place that we come from, thereby preparing ourselves to create both writing and visual art grounded in personal meaning. We filled in the four sections using the following prompts:
Cynthia Weiss and Fannie Medina introduced us to manageable ways of interweaving visual art collage making with reading and writing. We looked at examples of collage artworks, discussed color families, textures, and mark-making, and thought about the colors and textures in our memory places.
Tommaso and Madeline presented on how the Habla Unit Planning process guided their work in Cholul, Mexico.
Unit Planning in Action Presentation:
We gathered our hand painted papers and decided which to use as backgrounds and foregrounds to construct the feeling and tone of our memory places. We overlaid pieces and rearranged designs to experiment with contrast. Some of us used carbon paper to copy shapes and outlines to add silhouettes. All of this was in service of representing our sense of ourselves as we were transformed by the places we come from. When the collages were finished, we attached our writing about our memory places to our artwork. In a dialectical phenomenon Cynthia calls “parallel processes”, the art making informs the writing just as the writing informs the art making.