Justice for All: Digital Illustration Social Justice Posters

Fifth grade students were asked this essential question, “What impact can art have on our society?” Students were encouraged to critically think of the ways art can be used as a tool for advocacy. Students then collaborated with peers to interpret other artists’ roles in visual advocacy and generated artwork that advocated for their individual beliefs. Students to took on active roles as artists in society by showcasing their artwork for wider audiences and connecting with community members by displaying their art in the hallways at James K. Polk for all students, teachers & parents to see. Selected student work was also featured in Alexandria City Hall exhibit.

Cohort member: Abi Dillingham

Students: 5th Graders at James K. Polk Elementary School

Essential Question: What impact can art have on our society? How can we design a social justice poster to inspire action?

Art Standards: 
Obj.1: Students will create social justice posters using ProCreate software to communicate personal values/beliefs, gaining fluency in using the elements of art and principles of design.
Obj. 2: Students will analyze how artists can contribute to society and will reflect upon the strength of their own poster designs.
Obj. 3: Students will exercise communication and presenting skills to connect their advocacy artwork to broader audiences in their own community.

The 5Cs:
Phase 1: Investigation and Critical Thinking– Students learn about 6 different illustrators from around the world and analyze their social justice posters for meaning.
Phase 2: Citizenship: Students identify issues in society that are important to them through a brainstorming web and sketch page exercise.
Phase 3: Communication: Students share their social justice poster topics and compositions with each other in an inner/outer circle exercise.
Phase 4: Creative thinking: Students use digital illustration tools to design a poster that visually supports issues important to them.
Phase 5: Collaboration: Students reach out to community members to promote their posters and inspire action on behalf of their social justice topic.