Digilit Sunday: Curving towards social justice through song

digilit sunday

Digilit Sunday is hosted by Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche.  Today, Margaret asks us to reflect on the word “curves”.

At first, I was not sure what to do with Margaret’s word, and so I borrowed Julieanne’s habit of allowing myself to simply mull over the idea to see where my thoughts would lead.  And I found myself gravitating to this image, a postcard on my bulletin board from a years ago visit to the Met, Vasily Kandinsky’s Free Curve to the Point – Accompanying Sound of Geometric Curves:

I have always loved the way this represented thought (to me, that is), and the way thoughts curve here and there in random ways at first, and then reach some sort of decisive point.

This led me to think about the way our year long poetry study has followed curves of its own: we began by examining the various craft moves in a poet’s tool box, then moved on to investigating poetry as a means of expressing personal thoughts, feelings, imaginings and perspectives.  Finally, in the waning days of the school year, we seem to be moving decisively into  the realm of the larger world: poetry as a call for social justice.  
A few weeks ago, a student wanted us to discuss Macklemore’s “White Privilege II”.  And so we did.  Our classroom crackled with important ideas and many perspectives; there was some agreement, and some disagreement, but our conversation (like Kandinsky’s curves), led to a decisive point: race relations cannot be ignored, and it is clear that equal justice under the law is something we are still working towards in our nation.
On Friday, we dug into the lyrics of Blowin’ in the Wind and If I had a Hammer.  My kids thought about each song first as individuals:

and then as a group.  They added lines and verses, sketched their thoughts, and asked questions about themselves and the world they live in:

At the end of our classes, my kids arrived at some decisive points in our conversations: we must not ignore the injustices we see, we must act more out of love than hate, we can make a difference.   We curve towards truth and the cause of social justice.

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Digilit Sunday: Curving towards social justice through song

  1. Ahhh .. I might need to revisit Macklemore. We just looked at songwriting as part of poetry, too, with Goo Goo Dolls and Kris Allen songs, but I think Macklemore might be a nice follow-up, too, for white suburbia kids.
    Thanks
    Kevin

  2. Stuck on “curves”. . . so I love what you did and this especially:

    “At the end of our classes, my kids arrived at some decisive points in our conversations: we must not ignore the injustices we see, we must act more out of love than hate, we can make a difference. We curve towards truth and the cause of social justice.”

    Amazing and such thoughtful work!

  3. I wasn’t sure where the word curves would take us. I just felt like going with it. I love how it led you to that image and the curve to social justice in poetry. Thanks for joining the conversation and curving to my whim today.

  4. Pingback: #DigiLit Sunday: Curves | Resource - Full

  5. Tara, curving your way toward an end product via the year-long process made for an interesting read. Might you and your students offer a piece of your project to my upcoming gallery?

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