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Grade 4: Delving into the Harlem Renaissance

Last October, Grade 4 Teacher Jessica Levy and several of her Graland colleagues attended a virtual professional development seminar led by anti-bias anti-racist educator Liz Kleinrock. Inspired in part by the session, Jessica launched a new literacy unit in February, Black History Month, focused on the Harlem Renaissance, a movement in the 1920s and ‘30s that showcased arts and literature in the African American community.
Fourth-graders made their selections from a list of well-known singers, like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, to lesser known luminaries, like sculptor Augustus Savage and painter Aaron Douglas. After choosing an artist or writer as their subject, students embarked on a comprehensive project with a focus on research techniques, note-taking, and organization. The project culminated in March with a creative presentation of their work.
 
“It’s interesting to see how much they’re drawn to the artists,” said Jessica. “They’re awed by the fun facts they uncover and amazed by the art itself. The kids are really into it.”
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.