A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A map literally dripping with anger

States Names, Jaune Quick-to See Smith, 2001
Smithsonian American Art Museum
I have used this piece of art before in class and I was wondering if I needed to put away this year. I started using artwork consistently in 2011 and so this was year four for this piece. Its a great way to start the year and I knew the kids would get into it. I just wasn't sure what new things we would find after nearly 150 young eyes had already explored it.

I was wrong! I just needed fresh eyes to show me.

I wrote about this painting and my students experiences with it first in 2011. A link to that post is here. Each year, I have had students analyze it and they notice things new each year. This year, the insights to add are:

The oceans are black, but the artist made the lakes white. Why?
The blue paint drips in the Gulf of Mexico look like their showing the route of a ship going south.
The eastern seaboard was painted, then painted over in white and then dripped in paint.
It looks like the painting is melting, like crayons, not paint dripping.
Canada and Mexico look like they were intentionally painted white. The US has all those colors.

There were heated discussions of how the dripping was achieved. There were several questions about they meaning of the painting: climate change, time zones, unity, sadness.

After were explored the painting, I found a video of Ms. Smith talking about this painting:

It sparked a discussion on how the different European nations built empires. Spaniards conquered for God and for gold. The French explored in small parties call 'coureur de bois' and built partnerships with the Native Americans in the St. Lawrence Basin, Great Lakes and Misssissippi River. Because England never had a specific policy in their colonization (each colonizing group had their own specific charter), there was a never a consistent policy on how to deal with the Native Americans. So you see a little of both tactics-in some cases, they partnered with the 'Indians', in other cases, they tried to dominate the first inhabitants.

Not bad for the first week of school and photocopy of a painting. Guess I keep it in starting line up for next year.

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