Project ME
El Camino Real High School: Placentia, CA | Designing Teachers: Jennifer DiCarlo, Susan Rotkosky, Christine Bonner, Reid Petersen

In Project Me students drew upon the notion of street art as an unsanctioned form of visual art displayed to make a statement about the community in which an artist lives, exploring their individual identities and experimenting with various media to create original street art. Facilitated by language arts, math, and digital media arts teachers, students refined key academic skills and concepts in an authentically interdisciplinary fashion. Through field trips, collaboration with local street artists, mentoring middle school peers, and production of works of art, students were encouraged to use their voices, creativity, and artistic expression to declare themselves in our community. Ultimately, students connected with city officials and local arts advocates to restore a 40-year-old mural adjacent to the school.

Specifically, Project Me students engaged in the following:

  • Explored street art in Los Angeles guided by local artists
  • Created traditional and digital artwork
  • Researched famous street artists
  • Communicated with street artists via Skype, in person, and on social media
  • Developed business skills
  • Explored entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Partnered with community schools and arts organizations
  • Provided service to the community
  • Restored a neighborhood mural

And they created the following:

  • Videos, slide shows, facebook pages, and artistic renderings of the field trip experience
  • Positive stencil artwork
  • Street art “dictionary”
  • Street artist commercial/promo
  • Mini murals
  • Spreadsheets for grades and project budget
  • Budget proposal
  • Notecards, prints, and shirts with original designs

Key Academic Skills & Concepts

English Language Arts:

  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others (Examples: Flip Grid, Skype, YouTube, iMovie)
  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and

Mathematics:

  • Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.
  • Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods
  • Understand similarity in terms of similarity transformations.
  • Use technology to graph the functions, make tables of values, or find successive approximations.
  • Experiment with cases and illustrate an explanation of the effects on the graph using technology.

Career Technical Education:

  • Demonstrate skill in the manipulation of digital imagery (either still or video) in an industry-relevant application.
  • Demonstrate personal style and advanced proficiency in communicating an idea, theme, or emotion in an industry-relevant artistic product.
  • Create an artistic product that involves the effective use of the elements of art and the principles of design.
  • Create original works of art of increasing complexity and skill in a variety of media that reflect their feelings and points of view.
  • Use electronic reference materials to gather information and produce products and services.
  • Practice time management and efficiency to fulfill responsibilities.
  • Apply high-quality techniques to product or presentation design and development.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and practice of responsible financial management.
  • Identify the characteristics of successful teams, including leadership, cooperation, collaboration, and effective decision-making skills as applied in groups, teams, and career technical student organization activities.
  • Understand the characteristics and benefits of teamwork, leadership, and citizenship in the school, community, and workplace setting

Suggested Duration: 12 to 18 weeks

 

 

Created with the support of the California Department of Education California Career Pathways Trust


Final Products: What the Students Made
Final Products: What the Students Made

In Project Me, students created the following:

  • Videos, slide shows, facebook pages, and artistic renderings of the field trip experience
  • Positive stencil artwork
  • Street art “dictionary”
  • Street artist commercial/promo
  • Mini murals
  • Spreadsheets for grades and project budget
  • Budget proposal
  • Notecards, prints, and shirts with original designs

You can see examples of some of these products in the “Resources” section below:

Core Practice 1: Interdisciplinarity
Core Practice 1: Interdisciplinarity
Students utilized math, language arts, and digital media arts to express themselves through art.

In a student-centered interdisciplinary approach, four teachers collaborated to facilitate the project design. Each subject matter was utilized in various stages of the project, and students benefited from the expertise of each teacher. It was essential to have time for cross-curricular planning throughout the project.

Core Practice 2: Community Outreach
Core Practice 2: Community Outreach
Students, staff, and the community benefited from the students’ endeavors in Project Me

During the project, community involvement was infused in various ways through guest speakers, students teaching at a local middle school, and visiting the Arts District in Los Angeles. Students interacted with guest speakers to learn about the business aspect of art, and to help design a mural in the community. While at the middle school, students presented their field trip projects, facilitated a Kahoot they had designed, and taught stencil design, which challenged them to emerge as leaders. Students sold notecards, framed prints, and shirts at a community fundraiser for the local Rotary Club. It is essential for networking and having the support of administrators and District personnel, as well as community leaders for the overall project to have the most impact.

Core Practice 3: Giving Students Voices
Core Practice 3: Giving Students Voices
Giving students the ability to utilize their voice through self-expression gives them a sense of ownership and pride.

Allowing students to have voice and choice empowered them to become self-directed learners. As a result, some students emerged as teachers and leaders in the group. Although it is important to give students many choices, it can also be overwhelming, confounding, and frustrating to the students. Thus, we learned to create more structured guidelines to lessen their frustration. Given the essential question, students were challenged to express themselves in positive ways.

 

More Interdisciplinary PBL Essentials: