The Hero Project was a two-part fine art and language arts project undertaken in 2009 by 5th Grade students at Hunter College Elementary School in conjunction with Art and Remembrance. The students wrote and illustrated a story about a family member who had displayed hero qualities.
They met with Bernice Steinhardt and watched an interview with Esther Nisenthal Krinitz and a slide show of Esther’s sewn pieces. They read the book “Memories of Survival” and discussed the various events in Esther’s life that defined who she was, who she became, and how her courage and determination shaped her life and those of her family.
They then followed a writing lesson plan developed by Sasha Domintz, 5th grade teacher at HCES. They conceived of and wrote a Personal Hero Narrative about a family member who had displayed hero qualities as defined by conversations that had had in class after the A&R presentation.
Once their family hero was chosen they took the discussion the art room where they followed a lesson plan created by Anne Rosenthal, art teacher at HCES. Here they created a sewn project based on techniques they had observed in Esther’s work and the events they described in their own family hero’s life.
These units combined to create an interdisciplinary dialog where the arts of written narrative and visual illustration informed each other in the description of real people and events.
The result is a wonderful refection of life across the broad spectrum of the classroom and the various family relationships they represented.