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Compare and Connect: How do culture and ancestry impact our identities? (Ready to Go Resource)

Ready-to-go resources are short, flexible learning activities that center art as texts. In “Compare and Connect” students use a guiding question to compare works of art within the context of a shared theme and produce brief writing examples. The activities are presented in google slide decks with teaching notes to make classroom implementation easy.

Saar's Tippy Toes and Leigh's Corrugated

Guiding question: How do culture and ancestry impact our identities?

Featuring Alison Saar’s Tippy Toes and Simone Leigh’s Corrugated.

Make your own copy! Check the slide notes for the teacher’s guide.

Total Activity Pacing: 30 min, over 2 days.

Grade(s): 6-8


Activity Overview:

  • In this Compare and Connect activity, students will explore the concept of identity through two sculptures. Both sculptures are of two Black women with symbolism from Africa and/or enslavement. Through discussion, students will use the themes of the African Diaspora and enslavement to talk about how our culture and ancestry can impact our identities. Students will also complete an ELA assignment writing an opinion piece why it is important for artists to create artwork inspired by their identity and culture. 
  • In Day One: Discuss, students will discuss what they notice about their artwork, specifically similarities and differences. Students will talk about the symbols they might see and learn their connection to enslavement and African art. Students will then discuss how and in what ways our culture and ancestry impact our identities. 
  • In Day Two: Write, students write an opinion piece about why it is important for artists to create artwork about their culture and ancestry citing one of the artworks as an example.