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Curriculum Connections

Sharecropper
Sharecropper, 1952
Elizabeth Catlett, American
Linocut
Block: 17 13/16 x 16 3/4 inches (45.2 x 42.5 cm) Sheet: 22 1/8 x 19 inches (56.2 x 48.3 cm)
Purchased with the Alice Newton Osborn Fund, 1999
1999-135-1
[ More Details ]
Language Arts/English
All Levels
After looking at and discussing this picture, choose a name for this person. Make up a story about her, or write a brief biography, including some details of her childhood and her life as an adult. What do you think the future has in store for her?

Read the poem “Lineage” by Margaret Walker (1915–1998), which begins
My grandmothers were strong.
They followed plows and bent to toil.
They moved through fields sowing seed.
They touched earth and grain grew.
They were full of sturdiness and singing.
My grandmothers were strong.

African American Literature: Voices in a Tradition (Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1992), 446

Discuss this poem in relation to Sharecropper.

Recommended resource:
  • Learn more about Margaret Walker at aaregistry.com/african_american_history/994/Novelist_and_poet_Margaret_Walker_a_contributer.

Social Studies
Elementary School
Does this person live in a city or in the country? Is she rich or poor? How old is she? How can you tell? What does the artist think of this person?

Middle School
What is a sharecropper? How is this sharecropper like today’s migrant workers?

High School
Although the woman depicted in this print is anonymous, Elizabeth Catlett also made prints of famous African American women such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. Research these American heroines and find out how they are similar to Sharecropper.

Recommended resource:
  • Learn more about Elizabeth Catlett at clevelandart.org/exhibitions/exhibits/2002/elizabeth_catlett_prints_and_sculptures.aspx

Music
All Levels
Learn about spirituals, religious songs created by enslaved Africans in the rural southern United States. Choose one that matches the mood and the message of Sharecropper. Explain your choice.

Recommended resource:
  • Ashley Bryan, comp. and ill., and David Manning Thomas, arr., All Night, All Day: A Child’s First Book of African-American Spirituals (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1991)

Art
Elementary School
Try on a variety of hats. Discuss what different hats can tell us about the person wearing them. Draw a picture of a classmate wearing a hat.

Middle School
Look for photographs of ordinary people who are heroes and heroines. Choose one to use as the basis for a linoleum print using a variety of textures.

High School
Choose a photograph of a person who intrigues you. Collect examples of printed texts from magazines that range from light to dark. Create a collage based on the photograph by cutting and gluing pieces of the texts, using different values to create a three-dimensional effect.

 

For more information, please contact The Division of Education by phone at (215) 684-7580, by fax at (215) 236-4063, or by e-mail at .

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