Saturday, March 9, 2013

Slavery Tear Ups

Last summer, I attended a workshop presented by Margarita Calderon. The focus of the workshop was teaching English Language Learners. During the workshop we did an activity called Tear Up. The focus of the activity is writing. Students are asked to create an image using construction paper, however they can only tear the paper. (No scissors allowed.). After the image is created, they must then write a story about the image. The image serves as the brainstorming and helps them gather their thoughts. I posted about this workshop here.

My scholars have been learning about slavery in social studies. They learned about how Africans were traded to Europeans for guns, shipped across the Atlantic on slave ships, sold and bought at slave auctions, and forced to work against their will. As a wrap up for the unit, I decided to introduce the tear up activity. (I have a pretty creative bunch of students this year so I knew they would come up with great images.)

I placed them into random groups. Their instructions were to create a tear up image based on something they learned during the slavery unit. After the images I instructed them to take the perspective of the slaves in their picture and write a story from their point of view. This is what they came up with.

Slaves taken from slave ships to slave auction

Slaves chained together on slave ship

Slaves working on plantation

Africans being traded for guns

Slave auction

I love how each group naturally came up with a different scene. And their images turned out great. I will definitely be using the tear up activity again.

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