The Hunger Games Challenge: Avoiding the Path to Panem

In this project, developed in partnership between Educurious and ConnectEd, students use evidence from the Hunger Games novel and additional resources to infer what event or series of events might have led to Katniss's world (Panem) and make recommendations on avoiding a similar outcome for our world. Students write and present an argumentative essay which includes a call to action.

Digital Media Arts 1: Audio- Using Sound to Tell Stories

Students work in teams to create a short audio story. The project is organized into three phases: pre-production, production, and post-production. In pre-production, students choose stories that they think other teenagers would find compelling, informative, provocative, or entertaining. They identify the types of sounds they need to record for their story and plan interviews and other recordings.

Digital Media Arts 2: Video-Telling Stories with Moving Images

In this unit, students explore the power of the moving image as a medium for telling stories—both real and fictional. For their unit project, students create a short video that tells a story illustrating a strength their community has or a challenge their community faces.

Digital Media Arts 3: Animation- The Animated World

Students learn first-hand the techniques and principles of animation. They learn hand-drawn pencil-and-paper animation, starting with the classic task of animating a bouncing ball. Students then learn computer-generated 2-D animation. Throughout the unit, they analyze animated movies made in a variety of animation forms and styles, looking at how the movies use the principles of animation as well as the elements of art and principles of design.

Digital Media Arts 4: Game Design- Principles of Game Design

In this unit, students learn principles and strategies for designing games. For their unit project, students work in teams to design and create a simple video game using game development software. They test their game with classmates, and get feedback on how to revise and improve it. Teams then present their games to classmates and, ideally, to industry professionals.

Visual Arts 1.1: Expressing Yourself

Students begin to explore issues of self-representation by looking at how others have used art and design to represent themselves and by thinking about how they can answer the question "Who am I?" through their artwork.

Visual Arts 1.2: Picturing Yourself

Students begin to learn the fundamental skills of drawing and sketching. As they practice drawing and sketching techniques, students create two components of their unit projects: a drawing of an object that is important to them, and an avatar.

Visual Arts 1.3: My Roots

Students learn mixed-media and collage techniques and use them to create an artwork about an important element that shapes who they are: their family and/or their cultural background. Students also learn about the principles of design.

Visual Arts 1.4: Album Art

To complete their unit projects, students design and draw album art for their own solo albums, drawing on the other artworks they have created throughout the unit for inspiration. In the process, they learn about graphic design.

Visual Arts 2.1: Symbolism in Our Lives

For this project students create promotional art for a movie, TV show, or video game. Students each choose a media product to promote, and conduct preliminary research on promotional materials for this kind of product. As a class, students use a sample promotional illustration to examine how symbolism is used in marketing.

Visual Arts 2.2: Symbolism in Illustration & Painting

In this project students practice drawing techniques by doing a series of quick sketches of the objects they have chosen to use for their still lifes. They analyze still-life artwork, using the Feldman method of art criticism, to gain an understanding of how symbols convey social, personal, and commercial messages.

Visual Arts 2.3: Symbols in Promotional Media

Promotional pieces frequently rely on symbols to communicate a message. For this project, students examine company logos, analyze symbolism in the media and create their own logos all while using symbols as an identification tool.

Visual Arts 2.4: Artist's Talk

In the final part of the unit, teams present the illustrations they created. Students will use the Critical Response Process they learned in Unit 1 to provide feedback on one another's work.

Visual Arts 3.1: Worth a Thousand Words

Students are introduced to ways that stories are told through visual elements. They analyze several works of art and media, including a painting, graphic novel, video game, comic book, and movie. They create comic book panels based on a piece of fiction.

Visual Arts 3.2: Storytelling in Traditional Arts & Crafts

Students research a traditional art form and analyze craft objects to determine the stories told by the objects and the principles of design each incorporates.

Visual Arts 3.3: Our Communities, Our Stories

Students create a storyboard based on the community story their team has chosen, bringing together what they have learned about visual storytelling, their own drawing skills, and their research during the unit.

Visual Arts 3.4: Artist's Talk

As a final activity, teams present their work to their classmates and, if possible, to community members, and write and discuss reflections on the unit.

Visual Arts 4.1: What is Concept Art?

Students analyze ways that the visual background in media works can convey information about the story and set the emotional tone. Students also look at concept art and learn about related careers.

Visual Arts 4.2: Looking at Painting and Concept Art

Students analyze examples of landscape paintings and concept art to see how artists express ideas, convey emotions, and create a particular atmosphere for a story. They look at how artists use color to create desired effects in landscapes and concept art.

Visual Arts 4.3: Creating Concept Art

Students focus on the creation of their concept art paintings bu analyzing how the design principles of repetition, variety, and unity are used in paintings and concept art, and then use their inspiration boards to sketch design ideas and meet in concept art teams for feedback.

Visual Arts 5.1: Defining Character

Students focus on creating story-driven works of media and entertainment through character development. Characters tell the story, drive the plot, and engage viewer's emotions.

Visual Arts 5.2: More About Animation

Students learn more about how animation works while continuing to develop their character's distinct look.

Visual Arts 5.3: Characters in Three Dimensions

Students learn how 3-D sculptures are used in the animation process, look at maquettes, and discuss how they might help professional animators understand how a character looks and moves.

Visual Arts 5.4: Characters in Motion

Students animate their character by drawing a flipbook. Students then present their characters to the class and, ideally, to AME professionals, focusing on the character development process.

Visual Arts 5.5: Introducing the Art Exhibition

Students begin planning for an end-of-year exhibition of their work that they will curate in teams and display for schoolmates, friends, family, or the community.

Visual Arts 6.1: Art, Media, and Persuasion

Students analyze three examples of art and media that address social issues, and discuss how art and media can influence and persuade.

Visual Arts 6.2: Developing Game Ideas

Students brainstorm ideas for their video game concepts. They look at screenshots of video games and study the visual elements of games to analyze game styles and settings. Teams make preliminary sketches of concept art and get feedback.

Visual Arts 6.3: Analyzing Video Games

Students analyze and critique video games in order to revise their own game concepts and one of their preliminary sketches in preparation for creating their final artwork. Students also learn about careers in the game industry.

Visual Arts 6.4: Creating Final Art and Making the Pitch

Students create finished concept art and deliver a pitch for their games. They reflect on the work they did and the effectiveness of using video games as a means to inspire, inform, and motivate people about an issue.

Visual Arts 7.1: Designing the Exhibition

In this part of the unit, students work on two types of presentation: the class exhibition and their presentation portfolios.

Visual Arts 7.2: Preparing for the Exhibition

Students move on to the final stages of exhibition preparation. Teams prepare the exhibition space and install the works, in the process learning how to hang 2-D work and arrange 3-D work.

Visual Arts 7.3: Opening Reception

Each student curation team gives a brief presentation about its work during the opening of their exhibition, and there may be performances and opportunities for the audience to interact with students or the work.