On Nov. 15th, Matt visited Paula at Little Village World Languages High School and observed her revisit a Close Read of Faith Ringgold's quilt Dancing at the Louvre (1991). Using worksheets they had completed earlier in the unit, the students reviewed each step of the Close Read. Paula made adaptations from various versions of the Close Read strategies presented in this project and generated these prompts for the students to work through. Paula spaced the prompts out on a two-sided sheet of paper with enough room in each section to allow the students to fully articulate their thoughts.
1. CREDIT LINE INFORMATION. Students copy the credit line information and review that this can be examined for contextual clues.
2. DESCRIPTION, I SEE... Describe all that you see. Images. Lines. Textures. Color. The elements and principles of art. USE ADJECTIVES. BE DESCRIPTIVE AND DETAILED.
3. CONTEXT, WHAT ARE THE CONNECTIONS. What do you know about the artist or about history at the time the work was done, that helps you understand this artwork?CITE 2 PIECES OF EVIDENCE FROM THE TEXT HANDOUT (included later in this post).
4. INFERENCE, IT LOOKS LIKE…Guess what the artist’s message is based on the clues you wrote about in the description and what you know about the artist or history at the time the artist worked. What’s going on? What is the mood or the message? Back up your guess with evidence. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS? WHAT HAVE YOU BASED YOUR OPINION ON?
5. JUDGEMENT, IS IT SUCCESSFUL? Did the artist communicate what she wanted to you? Is she skillful? Do you like the artwork? WHY OR WHY NOT? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS? YOU MUST GIVE A REASON AND BACK UP YOUR THOUGHTS.
You can watch Paula lead this Close Read process at this YouTube link.
Here are the two pieces of text Paula provided the students to facilitate their contextualization of Faith Ringgold. It was great to see this part of the research process given over to the students and to see which sections of text they highlighted or underlined.
This process of unpacking Faith Ringgold's work is the connected to sewing and quilt-making studio activities. The students came up with different themes they wanted to represent in their quilt, i.e. Dreams, Culture and Music 'n the Hood, and in small groups created individual squares to be sewn together for each theme. The end product will be a quilt close to 3' x 5' that will be displayed in a local cultural center.