Art History, Humanities, and Linguistics

Lesson One: Art History
Lesson Two: Humanities
Lesson Three: Linguistics with Mr. Hill, April 7th
Lesson Four: Art History and Humanities–Guide to Genealogical Research

Lesson One

In Art History we have been studying the use of drawing and art as a visual representation of written work. We will continue that work in the writing lessons this week and start a new unit on art during the Civil War.

The Civil War is a deeply painful part of American History and several artists emerged during this period of time as artists who were capable of providing a visualization of the pain, confusion, grief, and changes that were required of Americans, their mindsets and lifestyles, as a result of the Civil War.

Eleanor Jones Harvey is a curator for the Smithsonian. She handpicked several artists to highlight in a podcast series. I find her approach interesting because she didn’t set out to understand the facts of history or the reasons behind war–questions we so often seek to answer when discussing the Civil War–but instead focused on finding art that was reflective of the deep emotions surrounding the ravages of war.

This video is an introduction to the art collection we will be studying:

Questions to consider after watching this video:

What did Harvey say was a surprising way artists revealed the hardships of war?

How do landscapes reveal to us what the war was like?

Below are a few links about Harvey’s curated collection. Pick one or two of the sources that line up with your learning style (reading, listening, video, etc). Make note of the artists she names because when you’re done with your investigation, I want you to pick an artist that you’re going to study more in depth.

*Seven short videos on the artists featured in the collection (you already watched one of them above!)

*A written interview with several embedded videos and visuals

*A short article that includes a video link, broad overview of the collection, and names specific artists (this would be an easy source for everyone to use!)

*A magazine article about the collection

*This will be a less directed search–it features a lot of Civil War era art and multiple links

Now that you have learned a bit about the impact of landscape painting during the Civil War, I want you to pick an artist about whom you should do a more focused study. Your study should answer these questions:

How did this artist influence how we view the Civil War?

How did this artist’s life influence how THEY saw and experienced the Civil War?

What story or message was your artists trying to convey?

Do you agree or disagree with your artist’s approach to painting war?

Should war be turned into art?

What is an interesting fact about this artist that you learned during your research?

Hopefully we will be back together in no time and you can share your findings with the class! Otherwise, we will plan a Zoom class meeting soon 🙂

-Ms Newell

Lesson Two

In Humanities, we’ve been gearing up to move forward from the American Revolution and into the Civil War era.

Currently, students should be working on their “big” research projects. By now, students should know what type of person they are studying and should be fairly far into their projects.

Just in case you need some help the parameters of the project are:

Pick a fictional or non-fictional person who lived between the years 1784 and 1860. These are the years between the American Revolution and the Civil War. If you pick a non-fictional person, you will need to do research on this person. If you pick a fictional person (say, a 12 year old slave in Virginia in 1815), you will need to research what type of life this person would have had.

You will need to present your work. This presentation will include visuals showing what the person’s life would have been like. What was their house like? What would they have eaten? Where did their food come from? What would their family have been like? What political stances would this person have taken? What were the major political issues of the time and how did this influence your person’s day-to-day life? Would this person have been able to afford photography of their family? What type of religion would this person have practiced? What were this person’s hobbies? What type of art would they have appreciated?

Remember: You need to have dates, locations (city and state), and family information about the person you pick, whether you’re researching a real person or a fictional person. This person needs to seem real, even if they’re fictional. So, don’t just say, “This is a 12 year-old boy from Virginia” say “This is Caleb, he lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1825. And then tell us the story of Caleb.

To help you a bit, I’m including some videos and research links for today’s lesson. Next lesson is going to be about the emergence of photography during this time period. It will work in tandem with Art History, which is why I’ve combined the two subjects onto one linked page!

This guy has several historical videos. You might be able to use this as a research resource!

Staying warm in the 1800’s:

Life of the wealthy in America in the 19th Century:

Life as a slave (He does say a couple off-colored words, but it’s informative):

A short history of the slave trade:

Met Museum article with plenty of links about art, lifestyle, and the experiences of individuals from 1800-1840

Lesson Three: Linguistics with Mr. Hill, April 7th

Hi Students!

We left off with studying the culture of the people from the country of Dubai. Our last assignment was to find three facts about this amazing place.

We will discuss those facts this week on zoom.


Assignment April 16th, 2020


Please provide a brief overview of the Dubai’s main language where it falls on the language tree and how it came to be the main language.

language tree

Lesson Four: Guide to Genealogical Research

In all of Ms. Newell’s classes for the end of the year, we are going to wrap up by studying a family member or family pattern (psychology). This can be a living or deceased family member so you can interview them if they’re still living, but you can also use some research tools to gather evidence.

Art History

For Art History, I’d love for you to research if you have a family member in your history who was an artist. Find out what type of art they did, who they influenced, what famous artists they worked with if they, themselves weren’t famous. You could look at it from a couple of angles. I’ll give you two examples!

I have a sister who is an artist. She has worked with a few famous artists, she has managed art studios, and she has taught art at the college level for a few years. I could interview her, find out her artistic influences, find out more about the artists she’s worked with, and understand why she’s chosen the path she has. My project might include some of the pieces she’s worked on, some of the performance art exhibits she’s managed, or pictures of artists who she loves and why.

My dad is an artist. He draws and carves and does metal working and builds furniture and uses big tools to make things like ornaments and large pieces of wood art. He has also worked with creating intricate gun stocks and turquoise jewelry. He does all these things because HIS dad did all these things. His dad did all these things because he grew up with a dad who also loved to create and my grandpa moved to New Mexico in 1956 and was influenced by the New Mexican art and artists that he interacted with. If I were to study my dad, I would go look at his art that he has created and share pictures of the furniture I have that he and my grandpa built. I would also go study the roots of the Native American art that he and my grandpa created. I would most likely research the geological roots of the turquoise and other gemstones that they’ve used.

For Art History, understanding the history and origins of influence is important! We get to know the heart of the artists when we begin to understand why they love what they love. It matters more the why and the influence than the historical context, although historical context definitely plays a role!


For Humanities, you’re really going to have to dig out your research tools. As we were hoping to get through World War II this year (and didn’t!), I’d like you to pick someone in your family history that lived during either the Civil War, World War I, or World War II. You can find someone who fought in one of these wars or just study what life was like and how their lives were impacted by these wars.

For example, you could pick a family member that was a wife and mom during the Civil War. How was her life influenced by the war? I have a family member who married into the family before the Civil War and during the war her husband (my great-great uncle) met someone else, divorced his wife, and became a bit of an outlaw/sheriff in Colorado! His mom (so, my great-great-great grandmother, I think?) was so upset by the divorce that she passed on all her money and land to her ex-daughter in law! How do we think the war influenced that situation? If she was your family member, I’d love to hear more about where she lived, the kids she had, how she provided for her kids, what her day-to-day life was like, and what was happening around her.

You could also pick someone that fought in a war. Many of us have grandparents or great-grandparents that fought in World War II. Why did they fight? Did they enlist? What was their role in the war? What was their attitude towards the war? How did them fighting influence family history? Did any interesting stories come out of the war? For example, a story my grandpa told me–he never wore a wedding ring because he was hopping out of his airplane one day, his ring caught on the edge of the cockpit door, and, if he hadn’t caught himself quickly, he would have lost his finger! Because of that story, I know he flew airplanes, I know that he was married, and I know that there are hazards to flying. I would dig further to find out what type of pilot he was, what year he got married, and what my grandma was doing while he was off fighting.

Some Resources

Family History Daily

National Genealogy Society You can log in to my account: Password: TheRock2020



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