During her student teaching experience at Homecroft Elementary, Mrs. Suhaka incorporated NCSS social studies standards. Through hands on activities the students explored self-image though careful self-examination using hand held mirrors. They discussed difficult concepts such as self respect and self image. The students embraced their internal and external characteristics and how people are similar and different. Though literacy they learned about families and how families are created and how beliefs and customs impact family dynamics and ethnicities.
While exploring identity, the class discussed artist Maya Lin and how her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. made a special place for individuals and families. Lin also creates many project using recycled items; therefore we brought in small unwanted recyclable items such as puzzle pieces, crafts, bottle caps, etc to create our own identity masterpieces. This project allowed the students to use a variety of art supplies to create their own vision of identity while building classroom community. The identity masterpieces are made of the same materials, but they are unique and special in their own way, just like the families, cultures, and individuals that we have read and discussed during their social studies unit of study.