Norman’s Rockwell’s The Problem – we all live with
Grades 8 through 12
OBJECTIVE(S) To raise awareness of the historical context of Norman Rockwell’s painting about school integration–and interpretation of the situation of his characters
Writing assignment based on a Norman Rockwell picture giving the characters a voice and feelings- based on the facial expression, body language and setting of the character and historical context
BIG QUESTIONS How do the historical events affect everyday people?
For example, when school were required by law to integrate, how was that received by southern, northern, and why did people behave in that way?
Enhance Emotional Literacy Accurately identifying and interpreting both simple and compound feelings
Recognize Patterns Acknowledging frequently recurring reactions and behaviors.
Length of session: 2 – 3 hours
Norman Rockwell biography
Introduction Norman Rockwell was illustrating family and small town life from 1917 – 1963. Have the students read aloud in turn the biography of Norman Rockwell? Read his biography. Rockwell often depicted an idealized America in the same way restaurant ads for MacDonalds celebrate happiness, friendship, and warmth. Ask for the impression that people have gotten from the family friendly During that time the United States went through two major wars, ten presidents, enormous social and scientific changes.
Model, the process with one Rockwell picture, say: show the image enlarged on a screen and ask the kids to notice all the details of the Rosie the Riveter.
Notice that she has huge arms – This, by the way, was not the way the model looked. Rockwell painted Man arms to show her strength or was it a little joke? Her face is dirty, a little bit coy or shy. Does this woman think she is attractive? Is she trying to be attractive? Why is she a riveter- that’s traditionally a man’s job?
Then the teacher will bring in the real events During wwII the women did take factory jobs, and it change the workforce of the country.
During that time, the United States went through two major wars, ten presidents, enormous social and scientific changes. Choose an event that is connected to Rockwell’s painting
Where did it happen,
Why did it happen,
What were the consequences of the event?
This will take at least one hour to research and write up-
When the class has completed this –
Next the teacher will take one of Rockwell’s picture See the one “the problem we all face.”
Ask the students to study the image silently for about 3 minutes and notice everything that is going on. Then have them guess the context of the painting. School integration around 1961. Why do you suppose Rockwell chose a little girl and dressed her in white.
What do her expression and posture suggest to you? What is the implication of the red tomato on the wall? What is the writing on the wall? If you were in the crowd, what would you be thinking and doing not as yourself but someone from that place and time? Then have the student quickly write a paragraph from the point of view of the guard, the girl or a person in the crowd. You may write as if the incident happened yesterday as you are writing a letter or making a journal entry OrYou may tell the story as if it happen a long time ago
(note: young writers will need support with this – you may have to give them feeling, words, and ideas from different point of view. Why is the painting called the Problem we all live with? What does that mean?
Have the student type these up and share with each other in class. Discuss how different people have different points of view and why they do.
For example, white people thought that having African Americans in school would ruin their school. Why?
African Americans wanted integration although they were concerned for their safety. Why was that?
Who is George Wallace? What did he Represent?
The Problem We All Live With
Artist Norman Rockwell
The Problem We All Live With is an oil on canvas painting by the American artist Norman Rockwell, produced in 1964. The painting is 36 by 58 inches and is displayed in the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Rockwell had produced many works with a social or political theme. This painting was created at a time when racial desegregation was causing conflict throughout the U.S. Education was no longer segregated by color, and African-American children could attend schools that had previously been all-white.
The painting shows a young African-American girl in a white dress, with white shoes and socks. She is carrying items she needs in school in her left hand. She is walking, and escorted by four U.S. marshals, two in front of her and two behind, whose heads are not shown. They are dressed in plain clothes, but wearing armbands to show their authority. They are there to protect the girl from protesters, none of whom are shown.
What is the story behind this painting/
Rosie The Riveter
Artist Norman Rockwell
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 52 x 40 in
132 x 102 cm
Norman Rockwell Famous Artwork
Freedom of Speech, 1943
Freedom from Want, 1943
Freedom of Worship, 1943
Freedom from Fear, 1943
The Problem We All Live With, 1964
Breaking Home Ties, 1954
Russian Schoolroom, 1967
Rosie The Riveter, 1943
Rosie the Riveter is an oil painting that is a classic example of Regionalism. The imagery of the piece became a symbol for the millions of “Rosies” across America working for the World War II effort. In the picture, Rosie is portrayed wearing denim work wear, eating her lunch sandwich, with her rivet gun at rest on her knee. The painting was commissioned as cover art for the Saturday Evening Post magazine in 1943.
Norman Rockwell produced a body of over 4,000 works in his lifetime. His painting methods began with small sketches, an accumulation of props to set the scene before building up to the painting itself. His work was popular and commercial and included illustrations of more than forty books, including Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, but the iconic symbol of America’s women fighting the Second World War on home turf remains his most well-known piece. The original painting was auctioned in 2002 for $4.96 million
So, what do people think about Norman Rockwell’s work?
Show the real thing photo from the news archive?
Most Famous Painting
Best Paintings Ever
Prints On Canvas
More sizes|Similar images
View Source: goodreads.com
You might grade the written response paper or extend into an essay on the topic Why is “listening well” important to a community?
Homework / Extensions: The teacher may want a quiet alternative to a discussion or a follow-up homework that would be:
I was surprised that….
I noticed I had a tendency to …..
The most important thing I learned was ….
I think I could improve my listening if I ……..
I think I could improve my communicating if I
As an observer, I notice that people often ….
The reason listening is important to the community is…