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        North Dakota | Activity 8.6: The Role of the Arts in North Dakota

        Students watch a video on the role of the arts in North Dakota history and learn about how the arts impact North Dakota citizens’ sense of place and community, its economy, and preservation efforts. Students then write lyrics for a song about a place in North Dakota that is important or meaningful to them.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video on the role of the arts in North Dakota history and learn about how the arts impact North Dakota citizens’ sense of place and community, its economy, and preservation efforts. Students then write lyrics for a song about a place in North Dakota that is important or meaningful to them.

        This lesson is part of "Great States | North Dakota | Unit 8: Modern North Dakota" where students will learn about the concerns and challenges that the people of North Dakota face today.

        Time Allotment

        25 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards: 

        4.6: Students understand the importance of culture, individual identity, and group identity.

        Supplies

        • Video: The Role of the Arts 
        • An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other screen to show videos to class
        • Class set of the Art of Place handout 

        Directions

        1. Tell students that they will be watching a short video about the North Dakota Council on the Arts and its role in bringing art to the rural areas of North Dakota. Explain that the North Dakota Council on the Arts is an organization that provides funding to various arts groups and artists throughout the state.

        1. Provide students with the Art of Place handout. Have students take notes on the video that can be used as inspiration for a song they will write. They can use the back of the handout for notes.

        1. Play the video, The Role of the Arts [6:29].

        1. The video begins with the statement, “Arts and culture help define who we are in North Dakota.” As a class discussion, ask students the following questions to delve into this idea further:

          1. Singer Jessie Veeder Scofield talks about why she stayed in North Dakota. What were some of her reasons?

          2. What economic impact has the Red Door Art Gallery played in Wahpeton?

          3. Emma Mickelson of Jamestown has applied for grants to continue arts education programing in her district. Why does she think it’s important to teach art to students?

          4. What positive impacts have the arts played in the Langdon nursing home?

          5. Why does Keith Bear of New Town think it’s important to share stories with people outside of their community?

        1. Have students work individually or in small groups to write lyrics for a song that depicts “art of place.” The song should reflect why a place in North Dakota is important to them.

        1. If time allows, have students share their lyrics with the rest of the class.

        Answer Key

          1. She says just because they live in a rural area, doesn’t mean people don’t deserve a rich culture [1:03]. She had a tie to the area, singing about growing up in North Dakota [1:30]. She wanted to be near her family and roots [1:50].

          2. The Red Door Art Gallery is an economic engine. [2:06]. Center for historical and cultural district and drawn in people for other interests in the town, leading to federal funding to the city [2:28].

          3. Emma wants to prepare students through creativity and give them the freedom to not need the right answer. Students learn to express the “why” of their actions [3:40].

          4. The “Art for Life” program led to an increase in resident participation, third graders interacting and becoming pen pals, and overall positive demeanor [5:00].

          5. Inspire youth from what they’ve learned [5:48], opens doors to new people [6:12], and makes it easier to understand other people/cultures [6:18].

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