STORYTELLING: Cave Art to the Digital Age (Beta)
This online course will seek to engage disconnected youth with art and academic tasks for credit. Connecting to movies or gaming, this course meets learners where they are to bring them through historic examples of narrative into the present.

Technology has enhanced the way people communicate, dig though history and imagine the future. Drawing, writing, photographs, video, speaking or multimedia are just some of the methods to be shared as students step into new media to tell their own stories like no one else can.


This course was developed through NYIT and the NYS Teacher Center Online Academy and is in development for launch at New Directions Secondary School for 6-12th grade, recognizing online coursework to extend in-school achievement,

The course has prepared slideshows and videos to follow storytelling through history to cartooning and animation, and then on to digital media. Art tasks start simple and scaffold into many self-directed, student-centered areas, guiding use of any and all online technologies available to students, such as GooglePlus or real-time chat.
We are currently seeking collaboration from art educators and art students to participate in discussions, comments, curating, videoconferencing or site moderation. Any time commitment is welcomed and appreciated to share and interact.
Contact Mr. Jacobs, Art Teacher

STANDARDS: The course was developed around the NYC Blueprints For the Arts, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and New York State Standards for Visual Arts. The course also meets Common Core shifts as detailed below (warning, this will get extremely boring, feel free to skip and instead see some fresh student art)

      • Instructional Shifts for Common Core in ELA/Literacy:

Shift 1: Balancing Literary vs. Instructional texts - my course will combine student-centered graphics with instructional text, for example a 'history of comics' presentation. Assessments (assignments) will build skills in recognizing diverse "voices", and studying ads, posters, videos, articles to extract meaning from diverse types of instructional texts.

Shift 2: Building Knowledge in the Disciplines - In emphasizing literacy experiences, students in my art course will consider the literal and visual meaning and impact of words, letters, phrases or blocks of text. In studying major art styles, cartooning, graphics and historical use of words and lettering, students will observe and create carefully selected texts. Students will consider how science and social studies have influenced fiction such as sci-fi, as well as the way advancing technology influences storytelling. The shift to purposeful reading in Science or Social Studies infuses double the potential for learning and art can amplify this for visual spatial learners.

Shift 3: Staircase of Complexity - in concentrating around the 8-12th grade range, college and career readiness will be a focus, with ratcheting difficulty that asks students to use increasingly complex text elements. Another element of readiness will be college awareness, such as an assignment asking students to pick a college for its graphics, architecture, logos, colors, teams, location, history, or personal connections to.

Shift 4: Text Based Answers - conversations on a common text will inform discussion, for example a 'history of Disney' in which each student's personal connection to Disneyana provides an individual history (what was your first movie, etc.). This will allow teacher to rubberband to the text and deeper understanding. I feel the online course might yield better discussion than the in-person because students have unlimited time to form thoughts or respond without interruption. My follow up questions will ensure each student has demonstrated they can go back and forth between their memory (impressions) and retrieve specific data from passages.

Shift 5: Academic Vocabulary - I noticed the shift to more complex vocabulary and less language terminology. An great example of this would be letting students come up with their own names for artstyles. For example, when we study lettering with curving fractal designs, some students remember instead this as "the curly que letters". Instead of insisting on memorization of the formal name, I would stress that "curly que" letters contain fractals or repeated shapes diminishing in size. I would rather her learn what a fractal is than memorize the name for fractal letters.

Common Core Assessments addressed will be
• 1&2 - Non-fiction Texts, Authentic Texts - student responses will include autobiographical and biographical texts
• 4&5 - Focus on command of evidence from text prompts - my follow up questions in discussion will ensure students whose responses stray from the tex or instructions will be refocused

From the NYS Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy:
In Reading Standards for Literature (Grade 8) I highlighted:
1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports...inferences drawn from the text

In Writing Standards:
3. Write narratives...using...(a) point of view, introducing a narrator, characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically...(b) dialogue...(c) transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence...shifts from time frame...[to] setting...(d)sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences...(e) provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events and
4. (a) Produce text...that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives [require students to write as a different ethnicity] and
5. ...revising, editing, rewriting...focusing on...audience and
6. Use technology, including the interact and collaborate with others.

In Speaking and Listening Standards:
1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (1 on 1, groups, teacher-led) ...building on others' ideas and expressing their own...(a) having researched material...(d) acknowledge new information expressed by others and
2. Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats and evaluate the motives behind it's presentation and
5. Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations and
9. Analyze for a modern work...draws on...character types from myths, traditional stories or religious works such as the Bible and
11. Interpret, analyze and evaluate narratives, poetry and dram, artistically and ethically by making connections to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events and situations and (a) self-select text to develop personal preferences [for example students can select thematic choices for a propaganda poster they will create against an corresponding opposing student].

From College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing, I highlighted:
1. Write arguments to support claims...using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence [justify their votes in propaganda contests] and
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences [for example in developing autobiographical comic sequences] and
5. Develop and strengthen planning, revising, editing, rewriting...and
6. Us technology including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and to collaborate with others and
7. Conduct short...research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding...and
8. Gather relevant information from multiple...sources...and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism [we can ask for link citations to check sourcing] and also from "range and content" notes, "how to combine...different kinds of writing - for example, to use narrative strategies within argument and explanation within narrative" [students can be asked to demonstrate a famous saying through a created narrative using a kung fu disciple and master as a shared narrative vehicle].
From College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, I highlighted:
4. Interpret words and used in....connotative and figurative meanings and
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats including visually...

From College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening, I highlighted:
1. [P]articipate effectively in...conversations and collaborations...building on other's ideas and
2. Integrate...information presented in diverse media and formats including visually...and orally [such as live chat] and
5. Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations
and also from "range and content" notes, the expectation students will "depend heavily on their ability to listen attentively to others"...and use "[n]ew technologies [which] have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play..." relying also on "connections between speaking, listening, reading, and writing [which] can be made, requiring that students be ready to use these modalities nearly simultaneously..."