Art for the Common Good—Junkanoo! (3-5)
Encourage students to examine the way groups work together for the common good and understand how specific factions in communities preserve their culture through the arts. Students will learn about the Bahamian Festival, Junkanoo, while making headdresses in groups. They will examine how group dynamics work, especially when minority rights need to be protected.
Junkanoo is a Bahamian Festival that takes place in December. The festival was started by slaves who were reclaiming some of the native customs that they left behind in Africa. Junkanoo is an example of artistic expression communicating aspects of a culture. This lesson introduces the historical, geographic, and social aspects of Junkanoo. It also deals with the concept of group cooperation and asks some questions for consideration: How do factions form? How are they helpful? How can they hurt a community?
Groups work together to draw a final draft of their headdress design. Students reflect on the idea of factions forming in a community, like a classroom.