ALEX Learning Activity


Jacob Lawrence Migration Series See, Think, Wonder

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Asia Hester
System:Huntsville City
School:Academy For Academics & Arts
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1694
Jacob Lawrence Migration Series See, Think, Wonder
Digital Tool/Resource:
Jacob Lawrence Migration Series Collection Online
Web Address – URL:

Students will analyze visual art from Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series using the digital resource and make connections to The Great Migration of the 1920s. 

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 6
United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
4 ) Identify cultural and economic developments in the United States from 1900 through the 1930s.

•  Describing the impact of various writers, musicians, and artists on American culture during the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age
Examples: Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Andrew Wyeth, Frederic Remington, W. C. Handy, Erskine Hawkins, George Gershwin, Zora Neale Hurston (Alabama)

•  Identifying contributions of turn-of-the-century inventors
Examples: George Washington Carver, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright (Alabama)

•  Describing the emergence of the modern woman during the early 1900s
Examples: Amelia Earhart, Zelda Fitzgerald, Helen Keller, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Washington, suffragettes, suffragists, flappers (Alabama)

•  Identifying notable persons of the early 1900s
Examples: Babe Ruth, Charles A. Lindbergh, W. E. B. Du Bois, John T. Scopes (Alabama)

•  Comparing results of the economic policies of the Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover Administrations
Examples: higher wages, increase in consumer goods, collapse of farm economy, extension of personal credit, stock market crash, Immigration Act of 1924

Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Identify cultural developments in the US from 1900 through the 1930s by describing the impact of various writers, musicians, and artists on American culture during the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age.
  • Identify contributions of turn-of-the century inventors.
  • Describe the emergence of the modern woman.
  • Identifying notable persons of the early 1900s.
  • Compare results of various administrative economic policies of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Jazz Age
  • suffragettes
  • suffragists
  • flappers
  • personal credit
  • stock market crash
  • Immigration Act of 1924
Students know:
  • The cultural and economic developments of the early 1900s.
Students are able to:
  • Characterize the impact of notable people and events that shape our world.
  • Compare multiple points of view to explain economic policies.
Students understand that:
  • Major cultural and economic changes took place in the US during the early 1900's.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.6.4- Identify at least one or more inventions and inventors of the late 1800s and early 1900s, including Thomas Edison (practical light bulb), Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), George Washington Carver (uses for the peanut), Wright Brothers (airplane), and Henry Ford (affordable car); illustrate the cultural changes of the early 1900s presented by at least one or more individuals including, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth, W. C. Handy, and Charles Lindbergh.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 6
Visual Arts
12) Interpret art by discerning contextual information and visual qualities to identify ideas and meaning.

Example: Students answer questions such as "Why are they leaving and where are they going?" in response to One Way Ticket in Jacob Lawrence's Great Migration Series.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Responding
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Process Components: Perceive, Analyze, Interpret
Essential Questions:
EU: People gain insights into meanings of artworks by engaging in the process of art criticism.
EQ: What is the value of engaging in the process of art criticism? How can the viewer "read" a work of art as text? How does knowing and using visual arts vocabularies help us understand and interpret works of art?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Artistic ideas and work
  • Formal and conceptual vocabulary
  • Innovation
  • Investigation
  • Two-dimensional
  • Three-dimensional
  • Experimentation
  • Conservation
  • Craftsmanship
  • Linear perspective
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Prior knowledge
  • Museum
  • Gallery
  • Curator
  • Digital
  • Horizon Line
  • Brainstorming
  • Research
Skill Examples:
  • Select examples of how geographical, cultural, and historical perspectives are represented in visual artworks.
  • Compare and contrast the ways that personal aesthetic choices in visual arts influence personal choices.
  • Examine and describe the influence of art in a community.
  • Research examples of arts-related activities in communities around the world.
  • Describe what the global community would look like or be like without art.
  • Demonstrate the responding process, using, background knowledge, personal experiences, and context when examining artworks and determining personal meaning.
  • Examine and discuss how the geographical, cultural, and historical perspectives represented in visual artworks influence personal choices (economic, political, and environmental) and personal aesthetic criteria.
  • Compare attributes of artworks in the classroom, school, and community, or artworks of a specific culture, place, or time, and describe how they influence culture, ideas, and events.
  • Demonstrate the responding process, with attention to the elements and principles of design, to interpret and describe works of visual art.
  • Analyze how the uses of traditional and nontraditional mediums affect the mood of an artwork.
  • Demonstrate various presentation and responding processes for a work of art. Evaluate visual artworks by analyzing their structure and interpreting meaning using various criteria.
Learning Objectives:

  • Students will interpret the meaning of artwork from a specific time period.
  • Students will make connections to the Great Migration using artwork from the time period. 
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

The students will use the digital resource to analyze the artwork from Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series. Have students browse the entire collection to determine an overall theme or mood of the collection. Then, have students choose or assign the students one piece, in particular, to analyze more closely. Students will use a graphic organizer to record their analysis.

See, Think, Wonder Graphic Organizer

In the first row, record what you see - just your observations. In the second row, record what you think about what you see - make interpretations and connections to what you see and what you already know. In the third row, record what you wonder - any questions you still have about the artwork or photograph.




Assessment Strategies:

Students will write a concluding statement about the artwork that they analyzed and its connection to the Great Migration of the 1920s.

See, Think, Wonder Graphic Organizer

Advanced Preparation:

The teacher should be familiar with the Great Migration of the 1920s and the Harlem Renaissance. 

The teacher should make sure students have access to a computer and test the internet connection before the lesson to make sure students will be able to access the digital resource. 

The teacher should make copies of the See, Think, Wonder Graphic Organizer before the lesson.

Variation Tips (optional):

It might be helpful to explicitly teach the parts of the See, Think, Wonder Graphic Organizer before having students complete the graphic organizer on their own. Practice with an image of your choosing and show the students the differences between their observations, what they see, and their connections, what they think about what they see.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: