My 8th grade students use a reading series called "Collections" in their ELA class. Recently, they took on a unit that explored the horror genre. I decided to team up with my awesome colleague to create an art lesson inspired by the text of Edgar Allan Poe's Tell Tale Heart which was one of the main stories they analyzed within English class.
On the first day, students chose an iconic image plucked from the text -- I had quintessential spooky imagery printed out for the students in case they were stuck -- a stop watch, a shadowy figure in the doorway, a heart diagram, a portrait of Mr. Poe himself. They used charcoal for this observational exercise.
The art mediusm I wanted to explore for this lesson was collage. I brought in a variety of collages materials from my collection that students could use. I asked them to do something shocking that a teacher of mine once asked me to do.... Cut your drawing into at least THREE pieces! This was a hard concept for many of my middle schoolers to embrace. Many of the students were quite proud of their charcoal drawing and hesitated at the cutting step. Because I have wonderful, brave artists, they followed my lead and eventually were open to the idea that our artwork can not become "too precious" or we'll never be open to new ideas!
Students were asked to find five sentences of phrases from Poe's text that resonated with them. A phrase they found interesting, or haunting, or a good example of the horror genre. The students incorporated three of these textual passages into their final pieces.
And finally, below is a picture of how I decided to display their courageous collages.