The Art of Literacy
At Brockton High School in Massachusetts, reading, writing, and oral communication take precedence—even in art classes.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Literacy as the Core of the Curriculum
Recently, a team from LMFSHS visited the Brockton High School. They were impressed with the school and the team. What jumped out at them the most, was the continuity of literacy in all of the classes - regardless of content.
"Making Literacy the Objective
The administration at Brockton High truly believes in its instructors and saw the benefit of training both existing and new staff on ways to integrate literacy skill-building into their lessons. Students are expected to read, write, and speak in every classroom, and the literacy objectives outlined for the school are posted in every classroom. Being a new teacher at Brockton High, I attend training sessions on these specific literacy objectives.
As a member of the fine arts department, I also participate in monthly meetings with the other nine teachers in my department. We use the time to share specific lessons and techniques that have proven successful.
I find that speaking and reading are the easiest to include in a lesson, while developing writing lessons for an art class can prove more challenging. A format I like to use is a quick-write: five minutes of writing to provide quick assessment. In the art room, this can take the form of a written reflection or a short peer critique. These exercises do not need to be written in essay format or even graded.
In the digital imaging class I teach, we completed a unit on Surrealism, during which students wrote in a dream journal each day for a week. They used their own writing to inspire the imagery in the compositions they created with Photoshop. Their work was expressive, thoughtful, and incredibly diverse."
During the interview with the faculty, the teachers included reasoning. This is research based. We know language is the tool for thought.
Here is the rest of the article, courtesy of ASCD Express: