In our classrooms at Murray Avenue we are highlighting and exploring the experiences and cultural contributions of African Americans in the month of February. Here we will share some of the Black History Month learning experiences from our classrooms with our community as they are happening!

7th Grade Science

In the beginning of each class in February we are looking at a new Black scientist each day, exploring their lives and accomplishments. This discussion is student-led and students have been submitting Black scientists that they would like to see recognized.

Check out these links for posters of BIPOC and female scientists you can download and display: 1 2 3 4

7th & 8th Grade Art

Students looked at the traveling group show, "30 Americans," which was on display at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia last year and is currently en route to the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina. Nationally celebrated as one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art in the United States within the last decade, 30 Americans showcases an influential group of prominent African American artists who have emerged as leading contributors to the contemporary art scene in the US and beyond. The exhibition and accompanying catalog explores the evolving roles of black subjects in art since the 1970s and highlights some of the most pressing social and political issues facing our country today. Students chose one artist from the exhibit and looked closely at their work, style and contributions. Then, using the symbol of a heart as a unifying theme, our artists created a drawing inspired by their chosen artist's style.

Art by Emma Aguayo (8th grade) inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat


Art by Ava Mitchell (8th grade) inspired by Nina Chanel Abney

Art by Josh Levinson (7th grade) inspired by Kehinde Wiley

6th Grade Art

6th grade artists used digital photography and design to create a collaborative work, inspired by Amanda Gorman and her poem, "The Hill We Climb." We looked at successful portrait photography and listened to her inspiring words while working. Students used Pixlr editor on their Chromebooks to add unifying elements. We are working to create a large scale display with the help of the Pine Road poster printer.


"When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid,

the new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light,

if only we're brave enough to see it.

If only we're brave enough to be it."

-Amanda Gorman

Phys Ed Classes

Students are learning about the history of some of the world's best athletes and trying out their workouts!

8th Grade Math

Students will research the lives of the women behind the novel and feature film Hidden Figures, human "computers" who worked for NASA in the 1960's. They will also learn how essential mathematical calculations are in the success of aeronautical missions. Click on the image at left to learn about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary W. Jackson.

Ms. Dorman's Spanish Classes

Students will explore an interactive map of Afro-Latinos. We will talk about what an Afro-Latino is and they are going to click around the map to find out about 20 famous Afro-Latinos and their importance in society. When they click on each name, it will show them where on the map that person was born and it will provide an explanation of that person's significant contributions to society. They range from athletes and musicians to writers, political figures, and members of the armed forces. We will familiarize ourselves with these famous figures and share their stories with others.

Ms. Lillie-Beck's General Music Classes

General Music classes are focusing their daily listening journals on Black musicians, composers, and artists during the month of February. Students are introduced to one song by each artist and learn about their accomplishments and contributions to the field of music. The musicians studied represent a variety of genres spanning over more than a century, including Scott Joplin, Billie Holiday, William Grant Still, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Sugarill Gang, Whitney Houston, Darius Rucker, Lecrae, among many others! Students have been submitting requests of Black musicians that they would like to see recognized for future listening journals.

Chorus

In Chorus, students are studying the cultural and historical context behind the development of musical genres that originated in the Black community (Blues, Jazz, Rap, Soul, etc.). Then, students will create podcasts highlighting the importance of each genre and explore the significance of each genre as it relates to current music trends and issues of today.

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Mrs. Lockett's 8th Grade Social Studies

Students were given a choice board and from there they selected 4 or more activities to complete. Activities ranged from writing a poem or a letter of thanks to creating a collage or another work of art in response to a video selection. Students produced thoughtful, creative, and diverse work in response to these prompts.