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Compare and Connect: How are our identities rooted in our family and cultural histories? (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.

John Biggers's Untitled and Aaron Douglas's Harriet Tubman.

Guiding Question: How are our identities rooted in our family and cultural history?

Featuring John Biggers’s Untitled and Aaron Douglas’s Harriet Tubman.

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


Total Activity Pacing: 30-45 minutes across 2 days

Grade(s): 9-12


Activity Overview:

  • In this Compare and Connect activity, students will compare two paintings from African American artists and consider how our modern identities may be rooted in our family or cultural history.
  • In Day One: Discuss, students will examine and discuss the two paintings and consider what techniques the artist used to create a sense of family and community.
  • In Day Two: Write, students will write a poem from the point of view of a person from one of the paintings utilizing repeating phrases or lines to create unity and emphasis.