The theme of my recent Harlem Renaissance unit was "Finding Your Own Voice". The idea was that my students would be able to wrap their heads around the concept of African-Americans being able to express themselves, if it was more personal and relatable.

A couple of days before I presented my 8th graders with material about Harlem itself, I asked them if they had ever been frustrated at not being able to communicate something important - either because someone wouldn't listen to them, or because they couldn't find a way to get their message across. This was something that they could pretty much all relate to.

As a homework assignment, I had them fill out a worksheet where they speculated on what kind of art they would make if time, money and talent weren't a restriction. Then I had them call my GoogleVoice account and tell me about it.

Here's a compilation of their ideas:
I think I may be onto something here.

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