Jazz Music and the Harlem Renaissance

What do Jazz Music, the Harlem Renaissance, and Elizabeth Catlett have in common? They were our focus for Black History Month!

The students watched a presentation that started with this timeline.

Time Line

The hardest challenge was for kids to understand moments in time, so this helped them immensely. Also helps avoid questions like, “Did you know Martin Luther King?” (Which I did recieve!)

We listen to music by Louis Armstrong, and we talked about how his music was called Jazz music and it was started during the time frame we were speaking about (1920’s). Then while we were listening we identified musical instruments that we heard.

Jazz Instruments(I did fix the misspelled word after I took this photo)

Then they returned to their tables and practiced drawing the different instruments.

Instrument Drawing

Drawing Instruments Drawing Instruments Drawing Instruments Drawing Instruments

Then the next time we got together we became printmakers! I showed the students how to use a tool called a brayer to roll out the ink in the tape rectangles I’d placed on every table.  Then using cotton swabs, I drew into the ink and then pressed the paper on top. When I peeled the paper from the ink, the image was transfered. This process is called a monoprint. My students were so excited about this, that they applauded when I showed them the finished picture!

Then back to their desks they went and did it themselves!

IMG_5440 IMG_5439 IMG_5438 IMG_5436 IMG_5418They were so excited with the results!

KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint

But we weren’t done! The next time they came back we used chalk pastels to give these monoprints some color!

IMG_5506 IMG_5505 IMG_5504 IMG_5503 IMG_5502

KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint KInder/1st Monoprint


Great job Kinders! Wonderful job 1st graders!

Black History Bulletin Board

Art Power


About Ms. Luna

Here we go! Year number four! Teaching artist at Mark Twain Elementary! I started my career in 2002, in the New York City Schools as a Special Education Middle School teacher. Moving back to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, I continued teaching Special Education and also began teaching after school and summer art programs. Moving again to Houston, Texas. I have taught all levels and abilities from kindergarten to college and am very excited to be teaching here at Mark Twain! I am also a professional artist and designer that shows work worldwide. I have been featured in the Houston Chronicle, Austin Fashion Week, Houston Press, and at the Grassi Museum of the Applied Arts in Germany. I hold a Masters of Science in Special Education from Manhattan College and a Masters of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University. I currently am teaching grades kindergarten through fifth and am an adjuct art professor at Alvin Community College.

7 responses to “Jazz Music and the Harlem Renaissance

  1. King

    I want to be in your Kindergarten class!!!!!!!!!

  2. I love this! I play swing era jazz for my kids all the time, I am SO going to do this lesson. Wonderful!

  3. Pingback: Black History Month: Harlem Renaissance & Jazz Music | Slanging Paint In 160

  4. Ms. Garcia

    This is so COOL! I want to do this with my class (again since they have already done it with you). I’m thinking this would be a fun way to jazz up my assessment week.

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