PTI
PTI Curriculum Units Events FAQ Contact Links
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG

Volume I: African Americans in Pittsburgh


The Mathematical Approach to the Hill District Then and Now
Vivienne Bartman
Pittsburgh Vann K - 8

As February rolls around I am reminded in every corner of the school that it is Black History Month. Without thinking of the ramifications I breathe a long sigh of relief and remind myself “You, my dear, are the math teacher. You can’t do Black History “This is my second year teaching in the Hill District and I can honestly say that there is not only emptiness in my heart but hollowness in my math classes. The hustle and bustle of the African American Show at my school left me with a need to participate. I have an overwhelming need to find out everything I can about The History of my students and my environment away from home. With my new found desires and goals I began to search the Internet for Black History Math lessons to get a feel for what haw already been done. Within several seconds I found dozens of Literature, Science, History, and Poetry lessons. The extent of the a math lesson was to measure the squares to make a quilt similar to the quilt in the story “The Patchwork Quilt” My work is cut out for me. I will design the unit to fit my students exactly and then other teachers can take what I did in my schools’ neighborhood and work it to fit theirs. If I make it personal to the students it will bring respect to their needs and struggles and most important their culture through Mathematics. Then when a student should happen to say. “Why do I need math this has nothing to do with what I want.” I will be able to respond “ Oh ! But! It is all about you!”

This unit compares the lives of the residents of the Hill District in Pittsburgh in the 1930’s and current day. The students will compare housing, food costs, rent, average income and conduct personal interviews, and then decide if changes really have happened in 70 years.

Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Obstacles and Freedom
Ashley Coudriet
Grade 8 Visual Arts

The unit I have developed as a result of this course is an introduction to the Culturally Responsive Arts Education being implemented in the Pittsburgh Public Schools in an effort to affirm students’ identities as a way of decreasing the racial achievement gap. The unit will build upon student’s prior knowledge of mixed media artwork and the art criticism process, used in tandem with the art criticism process.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Their Stories/My Stories
Pittsburgh Colfax
Kipp Dawson

Middle-school-level students will build on their previous studies of historical fiction – in particular, Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry -- to explore their own individual, community, and ethnic roots. Students will use multiple forms of historical research, including recording oral histories, and will present their findings in various forms, both written and oral. This unit focuses on Pittsburgh’s rich ethnic heritages with a particular focus on African American roots and contributions.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Returning Pride to the House
Carlton Heywood
Westinghouse High School

In the case of many high schools within the Pittsburgh Public School District, there has been a major shift in what most would consider “quality education”. Indicators demonstrate that there has been a decline in standardized test scores, attendance, and school morale. Though the achievement gap between African American students and white students has been slowly diminishing, the void is still too large.

This phenomenon is most felt at Westinghouse High School where for the last 15+ years the standardized test scores have been low, attendance and graduation rates have been sporadic, and even the most talented students struggle when compared to the achievement of their peers that attend other schools in the Pittsburgh Public School System.

Unlike other units, that focus purely on the academic side of education, “Restoring Pride to the HOUSE” is designed to have the incoming Freshmen at Westinghouse High School learn about the school and neighborhood through research and the oral history obtained by alumni that have graced the school’s halls. This unit can be used in whole or in part with the 9th Grade Nation movement.

It is believed that if given the opportunity to learn about the rich history that all schools have, students will use this knowledge as a foundation that fosters pride and will support continued learning.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

African Americans in Pittsburgh: First Stop, Homewood
Merrie Luna
Pittsburgh Lincoln K-8

This unit, “African Americans in Pittsburgh: First Stop Homewood,” is hopefully just the beginning to introducing our students to the African Americans lifestyles in Pittsburgh after World War II. It is appropriate for 3rd grade students, but can be modified for up to and including middle school. The content of this unit focuses on the lives of African Americans living in Homewood-Brushton as early as the 1800s up to and through the 1970s. I believe the students will find it very interesting that many prominent people have graduated from George Westinghouse High School, just a few blocks from Pittsburgh Lincoln’s upper campus. This unit will expose students to reading, writing activities, creativity, research, classroom discussions, and presentations.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Instrument of Change:
The Pittsburgh Courier: 1940 – 1952
Patricia Pugh Mitchell
Pittsburgh Arsenal 6 through 8

The curriculum, Instrument of Change: The Pittsburgh Courier: 1940 – 1952, is designed to be used in an 8th grade middle school Social Studies class. This unit provides an entre for students to explore a critical time in our nation’s history (1940 – 1952) through the lens of the Pittsburgh Courier. Upon completion of this unit of study, students will have developed an understanding of the historical tenor of the times over a little more than a decade and the important role the Pittsburgh Courier played as an instrument of change in capturing critical moments in time for posterity, and ultimately breaking down barriers in a multitude of areas that before, were less than accessible to the African American.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

August Wilson’s Pittsburgh
Janelle A. Price
Oliver High School

While August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, and Fences anchor this 10th through 12th grade English Language Arts unit, they are uniquely critiqued through the lenses of historical non-fiction pieces from Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and clinical psychiatrist and public health professor Dr. Mindy Fullilove. The students complete the unit by writing a one-act play capturing a social history or historical incident. The unit runs for approximately 40 single class sessions, and the lessons are written according to the basic DL Pattern of instruction.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Reflections in The Hill District
Dana R. Williams
Pittsburgh Miller

As a teacher at Pittsburgh Miller, an African Centered Academy, it is my job to help my students gain and maintain a sense of identity, purpose, and direction. It is my goal to be able to convey to the students as sense of who they are, what their purpose is in life, and in which direction to go to achieve that purpose. It is my belief that the foundation of these goals comes from knowledge of their history and how it shapes their present lives and future selves.

The unit I created will be taught within a communication classroom. The introductory lesson of the unit would be used to re-familiarize the students with the principles of the Nguzo Saba and why they are important to them on their way to becoming good citizens of our school, our community, and our world. The succession of the lessons will be to introduce the students to several “Hill District Natives” through biographical cards, multimedia sources, and oral history. Each lesson will be based around one particular “native”. After reading and discussing the accomplishments of that particular person, the students will be asked which principle of the Nguzo Saba they believed the ancestor reflected most. After conferencing and brainstorming with each student, the collective whole will be walked through the writing process. The writing pieces will reflect the relationship between a particular ancestor and how they demonstrated a Nguzo Saba principle in their lives. Each student would be responsible for seven writing pieces, which would be combined into a class book.


Click here to view complete unit.

Chatham University
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG Pittsburgh Teachers Institute
Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG