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Exploring the Visions of Harlem Renaissance (2022)

Exploring the Visions of the Harlem Renaissance

Learning through multi-disciplinary units


Harlem Summer

This school year students at Discovery Charter have been learning about the Harlem Renaissance across several academic disciplines. In English and Language Arts they journeyed back to 1925 Harlem via the words of acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers and his historical novel Harlem Summer. The students were introduced to figures such as Langston Hughes and Fats Waller throughout this engaging book.


In Social Studies students learned all about the push and pull factors contributing to the Great Migration north that ultimately sparked the Harlem Renaissance. As part of the unit, students studied The Migration Series by noted artist Jacob Lawrence. This 60 panel work painted in 1940 depicts many aspects of the migration of African-Americans from the rural south to the urban north in the early twentieth century and has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art.

The Great Migration 

Lastly, in Visual Arts the students spent several classes looking at the work of the painter most associated with the Harlem Renaissance, Aaron Douglas. They analyzed the form of his paintings, identifying such concepts as transparency, geometric shapes and silhouettes. They also looked at the subjects of his paintings and how they depict the difficult history, aspirations and joyful aspects of the daily lives of African-Americans in 1920s Harlem.

Aaron Douglas

They then applied these stylistic ideas to create artwork of their own that displayed how these concepts manifest in their own lives and communities. Through the words and pictures of these important artists and their own creative visions, the students at Discovery Charter have developed a deep understanding of both the history and the joy of the Harlem Renaissance.


Charnell Junior

Charnell & Junior


Naomi Bolatito

Naomi & Bolatito


Aidan Aaron

Aidan & Aaron


Alliana Sage

Alliana & Sage