Exhibit Lesson Plans

Lesson plans for Ohio 4th and 5th grade students were created by ART 195 – Introduction to Art Education Miami University students in Spring 2021. The following lesson plans can be used independently or in conjunction with a viewing of the Finding Freedom Summer Traveling Exhibit.

  • Activism

    We Are Activists in Our Community

    Grade: 5th

    In this lesson students will explore the idea of activism by learning about MLK’s impact and influence on the civil rights movement. Students will learn about the historical significance of Freedom Summer and how it connects to the John Linsday image. Students will work together to define activism and ask themselves ways that they can too be activists. Lastly, students will create a self portrait expressing ways in which they can stand up for things that they are passionate about.

  • Determination

    Determination on Display

    Grade: 5th

    Creating a poster board describing something the student is determined to do and creating the background. Then, the student will take a picture of them in front of the posterboard so they are the foreground of what they are determined to do. This allows the student to put a visual aspect to their goals and determination, as well as visualizing themselves achieving the goal.

  • Identity

    “Who Are You?”

    Grade: 4th

    With this lesson there will be a main focus for teaching these 4th graders about their individual identity. This will be taught by the introduction of a poster by Steve Shapiro to advertise the civil rights movement. Then, students will be creating their own poster of their identity and of how the student interprets their individual identity. Students will learn vocabulary through this lesson of negative space, composition, and shape. The goals of this lesson is for students to identify their personal strengths, encourage a positive attitude towards self, celebrate the difference in each individual, as well as build a sense of belonging.

  • Bravery

    Recognizing Bravery Through Gratitude

    Grade: 4th

    Through this lesson, we will empower fourth grade students to be brave through reflecting and expressing gratitude for those in their life that are brave. Teaching bravery to fourth graders allows them to prepare for the bravery needed to transition from elementary school to middle school. We will execute this by first teaching students about the Freedom Summer volunteer’s bravery in tackling systemic racial voting inequality through the anchor image by Schapiro. We will also help students learn about bravery through our visual culture component of the PBS video. Finally, we will help students apply what they have learned through reflecting on acts of bravery and brave people in their life that they admire. Following the reflection, the students will have an opportunity to demonstrate bravery by using experimental materials as a tool to paint. The students will also have an opportunity to apply the learning of bravery through expressing gratitude to brave individuals in their lives. Through a culmination of those two elements, the students will make a trophy painted with those experimental materials for a person in their life. Their artwork will help them connect them to their community and culture. The final artwork incorporates texture, both implied and explicit, and pattern as a result of the nature of using experimental materials.

  • Courage

    Not All Heroes Wear Capes

    Grade: 5th

    In our lesson we will explore the theme of courage. We will look at the image above and talk about the Freedom Summer as well as the photographer, Herbert Randall. Then we will discuss courage, and what it takes to be courageous. Students will then create their own “superhero” portrait of someone they know who is courageous and will write a short description about their qualities.

  • Passion

    Passion for Purpose

    Grade: 5th

    The art project is to connect passion to them individually and get them excited about what they already love to do could have a potential influence over the world. They will dive deeper into their passion to reflect on why they love it, what influenced them to love it, and how it could influence others. After they are all complete they will be put together as one large hand holding up a picture/paper collage of the world- showing how small passions, when put together and spread to others can create great change! The overall purpose will be to relate individual passions and how they can influence the world when small changes are all put together. This is important because it does not feel like our passions and our small choices can do great things but they can

  • Leadership

    Who is a leader in your life?

    Grade: 4th

    Our theme is leadership. We will learn about the historical event of Freedom Summer in 1964. Specifically we will discuss Bob Moses and roles he played as a leader of the movement. The purpose is for students to learn about what it takes to be a leader and discuss characteristics of a leader. The students will make a powerful connection to one person that they would consider a leader or a role model in their life and identify leadership qualities in that person. Students will take the photograph of the leader, cut it symmetrically down the middle, and glue the left half to the left side of the paper. Then the students will attempt to draw the right side to the best of their ability.

  • Unity

    A Classroom United

    Grade: 4th

    In this lesson, the students will understand the meaning of unity and how it comes into reality within their own lives. The students will view an image of Fannie Lou Hamer from Freedom Summer and understand how the picture represents music bringing people together in a tough time. Students will then think about what unity means in their own lives and show it through a drawing. After the students complete this portion of the project, the teacher will bring the class together and explain how their classroom is also a form of unity. We will hang their art in the classroom as a daily reminder that they can feel united with their classmates and peers.

  • Empowerment

    Empowering Today for an Empowered Tomorrow

    Grade: 5th

    We will learn about empowerment, what makes you feel empowered and how you can make other people feel empowered. Groups of three will discuss positive characteristics of your peers to help empower them. Next, each student will make a collage of empowering words from magazines and newspapers. For this activity, we will learn about John Lewis and how he empowered others throughout the Civil Rights Movement and for decades beyond. We will connect this to students empowering each other, and the importance of this in daily life.

  • Injustice

    Defining Injustice

    Grade: 5th

    This lesson aims to attentively expose and teach young students about important social issues in today’s society. More specifically, how injustice affects Black individuals as well as how this is documented in art. 5th graders are at an age where they are beginning to form a more concrete understanding of their society and overall environment. Therefore, it is crucial that teachers meticulously integrate this information into their curriculum. For this lesson, students will create a painting that represents something of significance to them (a family member, a hobby, and/or tv show, etc.) and will be given a short writing assignment after, where they reflect on how they would feel if this was taken away from them. This project will give students an idea of what it is like for those who face injustice, how having these important things taken away is unfair, and overall how injustice brings additional hardships into a person’s life.

  • Memory

    Memorial for your Memories

    Grade: 4th

    Memorials are an important part of our world, as they are physical reminders of events in the past. Over the course of two days, students will be learning about different memorials, mainly the Freedom Summer memorial, and creating their own memorial for a memory that is important to them. Students will be using a photograph or a physical object as a base for their piece, with an artistic representation of their memory behind this physical object.

  • Contribute

    How Can You Make a Difference?

    Grade: 4th and 5th

    In this lesson we explore the theme of contributing. We will look at the image and talk about Freedom Summer and how everyday people can make a difference in their communities. Students will discuss different ways in which they can use library materials to select materials, read, empathize, reflect and share ideas to pursue personal growth and to improve society.