Inside Black History Month

St. Timothy’s second graders are engaged in more than a few lessons about the great achievements of African Americans, like Rosa Parks, W.E.B. DuBois, and Ruby Bridges. They’ve been doing a three-week immersive study of the Pinkney family of authors and illustrators: Jerry Pinkney and his son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Andrea Davis Pinkney.

Jerry Pinkney started illustrating and writing children’s books in 1969. He is the recipient of numerous accolades for his detailed watercolors and creative story lines, including the recent awarding of the 2020 Orbis Pictus Award for his and author Barry Wittenstein’s nonfiction collaboration, A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation.

Second graders began learning about Jerry Pinkney by reading books he had illustrated. Mrs. Pfieffer says, “We looked at the rich language Pinkney uses in his books and admired his use of pencil and watercolor to make his illustrations.

This past week, students focused on Brian and Andrea Davis Pinkney, who also write and illustrate books for children. Brian uses a different medium to create illustrations—he creates art using the engraving technique of scratchboard. After reading the books Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa, students listened to performances by these famous jazz musicians and drew scratchboard pictures to show how the music made them feel and what they saw in their minds.

Our students have learned more about the many contributions of African Americans to our country and have experienced new ways to learn.

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