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CURRICULUM: Exploring the Meaning of the Fist through Art

January 30, 2009 Leave a Comment

DESCRIPTION: The everyday life of our urban high school students is often overlooked in the public school classroom.  These experiences are the very places where students are developing a sense of self and their own perspectives in relation to their cultural, social, and political environments.   Moreover, bringing the everyday into the classroom is a critical and necessary form of pedagogy.  In this lesson plan, students will utilize maps of Chicago while exploring the range of meanings that come along with the Fist, a hand gesture often associated with power and strength.  Inspired by local Little Village artist Antonio Martinez, the students will incorporate their own fists into a sculpture that will in turn become a collective installation.  During this process, students will interpret Martinez’s use of fists in his artwork and discuss how this hand form can communicate a range of things in various contexts. The students are also encouraged to explore what the fist means to them and relate this to their own life experience.  This is a great opportunity for students to reflect on and connect their own lives, culture, and urban environments to an art project.  
GRADE LEVEL:  high school (grades 9)
TIMELINE: one 55-minute period

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