4th graders in this class were learning about Illinois and, specifically, Chicago in their academic pursuits. In collaboration with their reading classroom teacher, photography and writing were used as ways for students to connect more deeply to the studies of their hometown. Images by Stephen Shore, Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, and Eugene Atget (among others) were used as models of urban landscapes that tell something about the place and convey a particular mood. An excerpt from Richard Wright's Black Boy was used as a model text to illustrate how vivid sensory description can show a place. Students were told that their images are their eyes and their writing is everything else (their ears, noses, hands, tongues, and hearts). Students went on an image-making neighborhood walk past all their favorite places. They also went on a field trip that included a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Photography to see and discuss model prints in person, a look through the Center for Community Arts Partnerships' office windows for a bird's-eye-view of the South Loop, and a scamper through Millennium Park. For many students it was their first time downtown and their first time seeing Lake Michigan. Their final project is a collaboration of their strongest images and their strongest bits of writing put together in order to include the multiple perspectives of the members of the group and therefore give a fuller sense of the place they investigated. Scroll to the right to see the whole project.

Center for Community Arts Partnerships
Project AIM
Crown Community Academy
Marcia Winkelmann's 4th grade
January — April 2013

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model image
by Stephen Shore
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model image
by Bruce Davidson
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model image
by William Eggleston
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model image
by Eugene Atget
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model text
by Richard Wright
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read by group in final performance
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read by group in final performance
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read by group in final performance
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read by group in final performance
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