The Curriculum

My scholarship of teaching is centered on the vibrant time in which various powerful learning took place centered on the Harlem Renaissance. Here is the soul of my work. Student’s skills were sharpened in the following areas:

1. Reading Comprehension

A. Students applied reciprocal teaching strategies predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarizing what they read.
B. Students were engaged in visual literacy making inferences of the Harlem Renaissance time period.
C. Students were taught how to take notes from their readings extracting the main idea and sequencing the events in their individual’s life.
D. After a brief synopsis of 74 individuals from the Harlem Renaissance and reading through materials on these individuals students selected the person that they wanted to research.

2. Writing

A. Students generated a list of questions that they wanted to know about their individual. They then brainstormed those questions and put them in outline form and began their research.
B. Each person wrote a five-paragraph essay describing the three things that they would do with their individual. This format is our schools grade level standard. Thus, the rubric was applied and papers scored.
C. In attempting to capture the essence of their individual and the Harlem renaissance each student wrote a 4-6-page biographical research report.
D. A brief synopsis of their individual in the form of a placard was placed on their backdrop.

3. Spelling

A. The students applied the schools standard of the 600 high frequency words and other areas of spelling and their rules. The areas of spelling were prefixes, suffixes, compound words, contractions, homophones, multiple meaning words.
B. Students first defined the spelling rule that they had and then placed examples on large butcher paper, which they designed to be a building on Strivers Row.

4. Speaking

A. Students presented a 2-5 minute monologue/skit.
B. Dramatization of what their individual’s day might have been like. A day in the life of…
C. Discussions of audience and how to make modifications for kindergartners to adults took place.

5. Math Word Problems

A. Students incorporated facts from their individual into math word problems.
B. Students were conscientious to design problems that k-5 students would understand. So there were some problems that were specifically targeting kindergartners, etc.
C. There were word problems with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals.

6. Ordered Pairs

A. A map of Manhattan with a grid placed on top of it was to represent the four quadrants.
B. The ordered pairs were on the bottom of the page for students to then look at the map and determine the name of the of the section in Manhattan that closely represented that ordered pair.

7. United States Geography Map

A. Students showed where their individual was born, as they would make the markings to represent the capital of a state.
B. They also represented the various places that their individual traveled including where Harlem was located.

8. Collective Timeline

A. The students first physically stood in the classroom forming a line based on when their individual was born.
B. Each student designed a page with an illustration and their individual’s name and birth date on it.

9. Photography

A. I shared photographs by Roy de Carava, Carl Van Vechten, Gordon Parks, and Morgan and Marvin Smith.
B. Looked at life in Harlem through photographs.
C. Invited a parent who was a part time professional photographer to share his expertise.
D. Discussed aperture, depth of field, and the importance of lighting. Started by taking off the lens of the camera and discussing aperture.
E. Set out to capture student’s life at Will Rogers.
F. Began by taking pictures in the classroom. Then went outside on campus and took pictures in various settings: in front of the school, near the school student made mural, on the playground, in the cafeteria, and in the office.
G. We went through a three-part process of placing all the pictures on the desks and walking around and placing a small happy face sticker on the back. (Each person had 15 stickers to use.) We developed 15 roles of film. The top fifteen pictures were selected to be enlarged.

10. Photography Stories

A. All other pictures remained on the desks for students to select a picture that they wanted to write a story about.
B. Student’s made inferences about what was going on and created stories about the picture.

11. Time management

A. How to use a planner

12. Concept Map

13. T-Shirt

14. Circle of Friends

15. Working Cooperatively

16. Peer Review

17. Analytical,Critical Thinking

18. Poetry Writing and Reading

19. Technology

20. Art

21. Reflective Writing


Students wrote, published, and took home bound books of their research.

Students painted life-size murals of their subjects.


An Ordered Pairs worksheet.


Students took photographs and selected some to be enlarged.