Time as Text: 1950's Coffee House


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E-Mail Doug at mrdoug@aznet.net or Melissa at mjmckinstry@earthlink.net

Assignment Overview:

  • Learn about 1950's society, culture, and art as a reference for future change.
  • Identify social criticism thru art of the 1950s.
  • Select a subtopic of interest to you.
  • Research the subtopic of your choice.
  • Compile a literature review packet.
  • Design and create a multimedia piece which teaches, persuades, or provokes your audience to consider art as social criticism.
  • Complete a written abstract following "essential ingredients" (linked below).
  • Construct a bilbliography following format provided (linked below).
  • Experience 1950's coffeehouse atmosphere created by our class for an open house, community evening in January 2005.


Assignment Rationale: To discover methods for finding answers about social history and the arts, to see how society and the arts interact and influence each other, to teach self and others about 1950's society and art as a reference for future change
Kickoff Piece(s): View David Halberstam's The Fifties video, read selections from Beat poetry, McCarthy trials, Internet search (webquest) - you might try:

Harlem in the 50s - If you have access to the _Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History_ published by Macmillan, vol. 3 has quite a long section on Harlem. p. 1193 lists names of writers important in Harlem in the 50's: Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, the Harlem Writers Guild founded by John Killens, Maya Angelou, John Henrik Clarke. It also mentions the photographer Gordon Parks, Sr. You might want to follow up on those names. To search for any of those names in a search engine such as AltaVista (http://www.altavista.com) don't forget to put the names in quotation marks, such as "Gordon Parks" so that you receive more accurate and limited results. - Jia Figueroa with the help of Carolyn Karis, Urban School of San Francisco

1950s - Wikipedia - Provides a list of topics including technology; science; war, peace and politics; culture, religion; world leaders; entertainers; sports figures, and more.

The Literature & Culture of the American 1950s - A comprehensive A to Z 1950's reading list.

Hollywood Blacklist - About how the early 50s were, for Hollywood, the worst of times: publicity-driven Congressmen making headlines by hounding screenwriters, directors and actors; studio bosses sacrificing their employees to political pressure; scores of careers put on hold for years or ruined forever (This is just one of many links found on the following site.)

Pleasantville - This is an overview of what I think is one of the more brilliant movies I have ever seen. If you have not seen this movie check out the review, but most definitely, see the movie, perhaps more than once.

The Fifties - A sentimental journey to the 50s that includes: Music, lyrics, television, Burma-Shave slogans, and links

The Message of Television - A paper done by a good friend of mine, Deb Linder, written about how television has impacted our lives.


Essential Ingredients:

Meets WriteDesign "Rules of Thumb" within website

Research - Find at least three credible sources, books and or websites; organize ALL of the information in a packet, folder; write a "lit" review, a one-page report of your findings, that will serve as evidence to support your project's statement; and include a bibliography of all of your sources. This research packet should include all of the information you found, even that which you may not use.

Writing - One to two page abstract showing contextual basis for "piece" and your reflection on your choice (Essential Ingredients for Abstract); bibliography

Design - One to two-page abstract layout including headline type that distinguishes itself from body copy and show careful use of page layout with purposeful positioning of text and white space, introduction, multi-column grid layout (at least two columns), pull-out quote(s), and one supporting image; project contribution may be any appropriate medium to represent the "50s" including music, video, visual art, theatrical skit, dance, costume design, mural, collage, acrylics, pastels, photography, etc.

Multi-media Project

Uses appropriate media to represent your statement about your "50s" subtopic which may include: music, video, visual art, theatrical skit, dance, costume design, mural, collage, acrylics, pastels, photography, etc.

Uses appropriate media/tools to execute project contribution

Meets project deadlines for community coffehouse contribution Thursday, February 3, 2005.


Steps of Creative Process:

Concept Development (research, notes, brainstorming [graphic organizers, see CerebralFlatulence on Website], sketching, pre-writing)

Draft Phase (organize research and create coherent product) Ready for Response

Revision and Editing Phase (further develop and refine, get more response, proofread)

Final (tight and as perfect as possible within the timeline and parameters of assignment) Ready for Assessment


Rubric: (scored plus, check, minus)

Research

Finds at least three credible sources, books and or websites.

Organizes ALL of the information in a packet, folder.

Writes a "lit" review, a one-page report of your findings, that will serve as evidence to support your project's statement

Constructs bibliography using correct bibliography format (linked)

Writing

Develops one-two page abstract showing contextual basis for "piece" and your reflection on your choice; includes "essential ingredients" (linked)

Constructs bibliography using correct bibliography format (linked)

Edits for clarity and grace (clean grammar, spelling, mechanics)

Design

Uses headline type that distinguishes itself from body copy

Shows careful use of page layout with purposeful positioning of text and white space.

Includes complimentary image

Uses introduction that sets the tone

Uses multi-column layout design to lead reader through piece

Uses pull-out quote(s) to attract interest

Multi-media Project

Uses appropriate media to represent your statement about your "50's" subtopic which may include: music, video, visual art, theatrical skit, dance, costume design, mural, collage, acrylics, pastels, photography, etc.

Uses appropriate media/tools to execute project contribution

Meets project deadlines for class presentation during finals, January 18-21, and community coffehouse contribution Thursday night, February 3, 2005.


Site Map | Essential Ingredients for Abstract | On-Line Resources | Graphic Organizers | Glossary | Quotes | WordList | Grades | References | Co-Teachers - Doug and Melissa | Gallery

E-Mail Doug at mrdoug@aznet.net or Melissa at mjmckinstry@earthlink.net