Colonial Arts and Literature


US History European Colonization Colonial Arts and Literature
Students explore three areas of colonial arts: visual art, literature, and music. They work in small groups to research and prepare a presentation of a specific topic. After the presentations, students reflect on how art does more than reflect culture—it can also influence ideas and society. They rate their presentations and the small group collaboration using a rubric.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for Colonial Arts and Literature:

Preview - Scene 1
Exploros Learnign Experience Scene Navigation


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Overview

In this experience, students explore three areas of colonial arts: visual art, literature, and music. They work in small groups to research and prepare a presentation of a specific topic. After the presentations, students reflect on how art does more than reflect culture—it can also influence ideas and society. Finally, they rate their presentations and their small group collaboration using a rubric.

There are several strategies available for implementing this experience:

  • Assign each small group one of the art disciplines or even a specific artist or work as the subject of its presentation to guarantee well-rounded coverage. Each group only researches its own specific topic.
  • Require each small group to do the background reading for each of the arts and then allow groups to choose the specific topic for their presentation.

Decide how much time to allow for the research, preparation, and presentations, and set the experience end date accordingly. You may want to continue with additional lessons in parallel while students work on their presentations.

Objectives:

  • Describe colonial art, music, and literature, and how they reflect colonial culture.
  • Consider how art can influence society.
  • Research a history topic and give an oral presentation.


The arts—visual arts, literature, music, dance, and theater—can teach you about the society in which they are created. They are a window into the values and worldview of the people that create them. In this experience, you will learn about colonial society by examining the visual art, literature, and music created within that society.

You will work in small groups to prepare a presentation on an artist or a work of art from colonial times. Each group will focus on one of the three areas of art.

 

Objectives:

  • Describe colonial art, music, and literature, and how they reflect colonial culture.
  • Consider how art can influence society.
  • Research a history topic and give an oral presentation.




Portrait of the Copley Family, by John Singleton Copley (1776)


Imagine that you are the musical director of a choir that has been invited to perform at an international festival. You need to choose one song that in your opinion expresses life in the United States.


What song should your choir perform at the festival?

Post your answer

Before moving on, explain to students how you are dividing the small groups and how they will choose their presentation projects. Review the rubric in the student pack.

Groups researching visual arts should go to scene 2.

Groups researching literature should go to scene 3.

Groups researching music should go to scene 4.

For each area, students are given background reading and some specific readings to help them choose a presentation topic. Each group will post their chosen topic for you to approve before they begin to build the presentation.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

End of Preview
The Complete List of Learning Experiences in European Colonization Unit.
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