October is National Arts and Humanities Month, designated to celebrate American culture and the music, visual arts, books, and stories that make us who we are.
Ahead of National Arts and Humanities Month, we wanted to highlight some new ways to bring the humanities into your classroom with some free resources and suggested companion supplies from the AdoptAClassroom.org marketplace.
Free Teacher Leader Resources Now Available!
AdoptAClassroom.org’s Teacher Leaders include educators from across the country who share their expertise and teaching experience with the wider AdoptAClassroom.org educational community. We just launched this program, so you can now access these free resources from fellow educators by logging in to your AdoptAClassroom.org account and clicking over to “Teacher Resource Library.” Once there, you can find resources like Teacher Leader Shellie Sallas-Leveratt’s “Teaching Literacy & Growth Mindset with Art” for grades K-1.
Resources from Teacher Leaders are provided by our Spotlight Funds, which support areas/school subjects of greater need. Our Art Fund has funded everything from art supplies for Kindergarten students to materials for a high school band. Make sure that you’re registered with AdoptAClassroom.org to receive notification when our next round of applications are needed.
Resources for National Arts and Humanities Month
The stock and availability of the following items may fluctuate. AdoptAClassroom.org cannot guarantee the availability of any of the items below.
Get Punk with some Zines
Zines (pronounced like the end of “magazines”) are small, folded books on a specific topic that are easily reproduced and redistributed. Rooted in the punk scene and marginalized communities, zines often feature topics not covered by more mainstream publications. While the height of zines was in the 80s and 90s, zines are still made and distributed in many communities today.
Having your students read and create their own Zines is a great way to have them engage in personal narrative and artistic expression while learning about cultural movements and events.
Here is a helpful guide for teaching your students how to make a basic zine.
Featured: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez through AKJ Education
This middle grade novel features a young protagonist trying to follow the “first rule of punk” – be yourself – as she settles into a new school after her parent’s divorce. One of Malú’s interests is, of course, punk zine making, which makes this story a great tie-in for any and all punk activities.
Featured: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief through Scholastic
Greek and Roman Mythology is referenced throughout Western culture, from the names of our planets to famous paintings created thousands of years after the nation-states had fallen. No middle grade novel has captured the influence and the ridiculousness of Grecian stories the way that the Percy Jackson and the Olympian novels have. Written by a former teacher, Percy’s story has been beloved since it was published in 2005.
In the first chapter of the first book, Percy Jackson and his friend Grover go to the MET on a class trip. You and your students can check out the ancient art that Percy observes on the trip by visiting the MET virtually. If you want to expand your Grecian learning, the Acropolis Museum in Athens also has virtual tours.
Contemplate the Politics of Poetry
Only six presidential inauguration ceremonies have had inaugural poets. This free lesson from Poets.org invites students to contemplate why presidents would choose to have an inaugural poet in the context of national identity. This discussion is appropriate for students grades 6-12.
Amanda Gorman, who was 22 when she read a poem for President Biden’s inauguration, inspired a lot of conversation about the role of poetry in politics and in life. While the inauguration was a couple of years ago, Gorman’s poetry can still inspire a fruitful conversation for your students.
Featured: “The Hill we Climb” by Amanda Gorman through AKJ Education
Whether you want a physical copy to discuss in class or want to add the poem as a resource to your classroom library, you can use your AdoptAClassroom.org funds on “The Hill we Climb.” AKJ Education also offers Amanda’s children’s book and a collection of her poems. Lerner, another vendor on the marketplace, offers a biography of her life so far.
Please note: AdoptAClassroom.org is sharing these resource(s) with the intent to spread awareness and promote conversation among educators. Sharing a resource is not an endorsement of the resource for classroom use. Educators are the experts on their students’ needs and their school’s policies. Please always be mindful if a resource is a good fit for your classroom.