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A Harlem Renaissance Retrospective: Connecting Art, Music, Dance, and Poetry

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A Harlem Renaissance Retrospective: Connecting Art, Music, Dance, and Poetry

Grade 9
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Maureen Carroll

Pleasanton, California


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



The Harlem Renaissance was a vibrant time that was characterized by innovations in art, literature, music, poetry, and dance. In this unit, students conduct Internet research, work with an interactive Venn diagram tool, and create a museum exhibit that highlights the work of selected artists, musicians, and poets. The goal of this unit is to help students understand the historical context of the Harlem Renaissance and what kind of impact it had on African Americans in the United States. Critical thinking, creativity, and interdisciplinary connections are emphasized.

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  • Venn Diagram: Harlem Renaissance: This online interactive tool allows your students to create a Venn diagram that represents the connections across the art, music, and poetry of the Harlem Renaissance.

  • Harlem Renaissance Websites: An excellent compilation of websites that will encourage your students to explore different aspects of this time period.

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Heller, M.F. (1997). Reading and writing about the environment: Visions of the year 2000. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 40(5), 332-341.

  • Emphasizing connections across curriculum creates powerful learning opportunities that help students find relevance in the content and become more actively engaged in learning.

  • By focusing on the use of thematically based conceptual plans, students are better able to understand relationships and make connections across literary and content-specific discourses.

  • An interdisciplinary curriculum fosters the development of critical and creative thinking through integrated reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities.

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