The Girl Be Heard curriculum aims to foster an ensemble of healthy, confident, self-aware, socially conscious young women as activist artists, engaged and encouraged to be positive agents of change in their schools and communities. The key component of this process is curriculum development that centers our youth and is adaptable to their passions, interests, and experiences. As such, the session structure for GBH lesson plans (like the entire curriculum) is designed to be flexible, consisting of moving parts that still create a cohesive whole.
OPENING RITUAL [5MIN]
Every session starts with an opening ritual to help the ensemble check in with one other and establish & transition into the GBH space. A great example of this is “Thorns and Roses.” This is a way for all participants to ground themselves in the space and for Teaching Artists (TAs) to create a sense of consistency.
The opening question is the TA’s way to start the conversation. These questions relate to the topic and ask the students their opinions.
The opening question can be shared during your warm-up, written on the board as students enter the space, or delivered via a writing prompt. GBH sessions are student-driven, and this starts by giving the students space to express their ideas or ask questions before delivering information to them. This will help the conversation develop a more organic flow and demonstrate that everyone’s opinion is valuable and unique.
Every session starts with a warm-up activity to help participants land in the space, be present, and get focused. The nature of this activity is based on the session’s objective and the energy level of the classroom.
ENGAGEMENT / ARTISTIC ACTIVITY [30-60MIN]
These are activities designed to explore concepts, topics, and skills that will facilitate or develop the participants’ artistic expression. Our TA Exercise Guide provides suggestions on materials that can be used for this purpose. This is where the student finds their voice and takes their own temperature on an issue while simultaneously developing concrete artistic skills.
SOCIAL JUSTICE INSPIRATION RESOURCE
During each lesson, participants will be exposed to a “social justice inspiration resource.” These can be articles, videos, songs, poems, or even facts & figures. Our TA Resource Guide provodies suggestions on materials that can be used for this purpose.
Our students grow up in a world with so many stimuli, many of which contain detrimental media messaging. This is the part of the lesson where TAs get to open their eyes to something new, or get them to question social norms they have already received in their own way. It is the responsibility of the TAs to figure out how to then help participants digest the information through their own acts of artistic expression, and to reflect critically on the question, “From whose perspective is this being delivered?”
REFLECTION PROCESS [20MIN]
The TAs guide an inquiry-based reflection process to allow participants to fully connect with the material presented and start unpacking it, reflecting, and creating their own ideas, both as individuals and as a group.
EVALUATION ACTIVITY [30-60MIN]
This activity is designed to measure if the objective of the lesson was reached. It will give students the space to express their opinions on the concepts and topics covered in the session while also giving them the opportunity to use the artistic skills being developed.
Logistics, review of session, and setting expectations for next session.
CLOSING RITUAL [5MIN]
This is a ritual of reflection and appreciation. We finish our sessions by acknowledging everyone’s individual voice and the group’s collective strength. This activity encourages the individual voice as well as a collective acknowledgment of what the session provided for both the individuals and the group.