Sharing Resources from our CMASJ - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

The Whole Child Review Issue No. 12, September 2023

Sharing Resources from our CMASJ

CMASJ Installation at ASU-GSV

At this year’s ASU+GSV conference in San Diego, our Museum of Art and Social Justice proudly showcased a retrospective of all twelve art exhibits since 2016. The interactive exhibit showcased artifacts from past shows and celebrated the publication of the second edition of our museum book. This new edition includes our positive affirmation coloring book, thoughtfully crafted lesson plans for educators, and a forward from April Montgomery, KIPP Chicago’s Executive Director, and her meeting with the legendary Malala Yousafzai. This remarkable encounter was a profound source of inspiration for several of the museum’s exhibits, illustrating the power of education and advocacy to drive positive change.

CMASJ Duke Summer Internship

This summer, we partnered with Duke University’s “Duke Engage” program to support an intern, Sophie Rees, for the Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice, who spent eight weeks working on lesson plans to support Whole Child Initiative priorities. One of her projects focused on “Hip Hop and Mental Health” and creating lesson plans to bring this theme to life for our middle school students. Our KIPPsters will learn the elements of a song, explore form and lyrics, and learn how form and content impact mood. To debunk the idea of a “starving artist,” students will dream of creative careers in music, create a future plan, and learn about professionals who bridge art and science, art and sports, and other nontraditional career paths. Finally, students will be able to make their own music through Chrome Music Lab; more on that below. 

During this time, Sophie invited fellow Duke interns to explore the five sub-genres of hip-hop and unpack common myths and narratives about hip-hop. Some of the questions students reflected on were: What are the narratives about your community that are untrue, incorrect, or unfounded? Why are they harmful to the organization or the community? What are some strategies your organization uses to dispel or push back on those narratives? 

We offered our space to the students so they could delve deeper into this theme of (de)centering narratives through a creative activity that asked them to create a mixed media art installation or collage that highlights their knowledge of the narratives and counternarratives of Chicago, their organization, and/or hip-hop.

Chrome Music Lab

Chrome Music Lab is a great FREE classroom resource for teaching basic music education, from song-making to chord mapping to rhythm tracking. It is very user-friendly, and there is an abundance of free lesson plans and resources to teach teachers how to utilize this tool. It is easily accessible on Chrome. This would be best suited for basic-level classes and could be used in conjunction with the first lesson plan. Give it a try!

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