Portraits and sculptures meet Learning Community 9A curriculum

Portraits and sculptures meet Learning Community 9A curriculum

Lara Janosz, Guest Writer

At the beginning of February, the freshman class of Learning Community (LC) 9A expanded their classrooms all the way down to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

“(At the) end of last semester, we ended with the Renaissance in World History. It was perfect because the DIA has Greek and Roman artifacts, along with a huge Renaissance-Medieval display, all things that we’ve talked about and learned about in first semester,” said World History teacher Phil Laliberte, who was joined on the trip with the other LC 9A teachers, Jennifer Teal, Jennifer Novak, and Chris Drogosch. “It even foreshadows some of the units that we are going to cover second semester, such as the Industrial Revolution.”

Writing through World Literature (Writ Lit) teacher Jennifer Teal, in agreement with Phil Laliberte, explained how the trip served as a perfect follow up to the units that the students had been learning about at the end of first semester.

“The DIA trip gave students the opportunity to see, in person, some of the pieces that we had been talking about while we were studying this era in history,” explained Jennifer Teal. “I think it gave them a chance to see how art can really bring history and literature to life and how it can make connections between the two of them because I think culture is easy to talk about but it is different to see pieces from a certain culture.”

According to Teal, the trip was not directed towards any of the limited time exhibits that the DIA features.

“There are exhibits that are more common to the general public and we wanted to make sure students also saw some of the exhibits that are perhaps less viewed but equally important and connected to the content that we are teaching.”

Not only did the trip help students connect their learning in their World History and Writ Lit classes, but the trip remained a popular conversation topic amongst the LC 9A freshmen.

“I think that a lot of students thought it was fun,” explains freshman Jessica Lan. “I enjoyed the trip. I liked the Greek and Roman exhibit because it was kind of interesting how it was laid out. I also like Greek and Roman stuff (artwork) in general. It was interesting.”

Many students also recommend visiting the DIA for fun with friends and family.

Freshman Sophie Henderson says, “I would expand to the other exhibits though too because there is a lot more but they (galleries) just didn’t relate to what we were learning. If you have more time, I would go see the other ones too.”

The trip was a pleasing one, both to the students and the teachers. Teachers were happy to see the students enjoying their time, while also making connections and expanding their knowledge.

“I do think that part of our job as educators is to help young people become well-rounded citizens and I think that means seeing the world in a lot of different ways,” says Teal. “Artwork gives a different perspective that helps students to see the real variety of cultures that exist in the world in a really concrete way.”

See below for a visual of the specific galleries that the freshmen visited.





Graphic by Jenny She