Education Guide

Education GuideOpportunities for Learning

Opportunities for Learning

By getting to know a diverse array of traditional artists and art forms in the Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide, young people and adults alike can think more about themselves and their own traditions. In addition to introducing important and vital music, crafts, stories and people from all over the United States and the world, this guide deliberately asks, “What do you know about your sense of place? Who are masters of tradition in your community? How can you discover more about your traditions as well as those of other cultural groups in your community?” Folklorists find that by first examining our own cultural heritage, we can lessen bias as we recognize that, although another cultural group may appear exotic or hard to understand, all cultural groups share common ways of life that call for ritual, celebration, custom, music, crafts, dance, food, stories and special language—in other words, folklore.

The content and varied formats of the Masters of Traditional Arts website provide a written artist profile; audio profile, interview or music sample; a video segment; and formal and informal photographs for each of 26 National Heritage Fellows listed below. These 26 artists represent the scope and diversity of the 399 artists and art forms that students can discover in the Masters of Traditional Arts website. The many interdisciplinary curriculum suggestions in this guide are adaptable for any of the other artists.

Artists Featured in the Education Guide

Name Ethnicity State Tradition
Etta Baker African American NC Musician
Earl Barthé African American Creole LA Building Artisan
Mozell Benson African American AL Quilter
Lila Greengrass Blackdeer Native American WI Basket maker
Eddie Blazonczyk Polish American IL Polka Musician
Lavern Brackens African American TX Quilter
Liz Carroll Irish American IL Fiddler
Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor Anglo American TX Fiddler
Gladys LeBlanc Clark Cajun LA Weaver
Sidiki Conde Guinean American NY Musician and Dancer
Antonio De La Rosa Mexican American TX Conjunto Musician
Sonia Domsch Czech American KS Bobbin Lacemaker
Qi Shu Fang Chinese American NY Peking Opera Performer
Five Blind Boys African American GA Gospel Musicians
Wayne Henderson Anglo American VA Instrument Maker
Bettye Kimbrell Anglo American AL Quilter
Jeronimo E. Lozano Peruvian American UT Retablo Maker
Norma Miller African American NY Tap Dancer
Allison “Tootie” Montana African American LA Mardi Gras Indian Chief and Costume Maker
Konstantinos Pilarinos Greek American NY Wood Carver
Buck Ramsey Anglo American TX Cowboy Singer and Poet
Simon Shaheen Arab American NY Oud Musician
Sophiline Cheam Shapiro Cambodian American CA Cambodian Classical Dancer
Clyde “Kindy” Sproat Hawaiian Native HI Hawaiian Musician
Ralph W. Stanley Anglo American ME Boat Builder
Elaine Hoffman Watts Jewish American PA Klezmer Musician

Teachers and librarians may use these materials as a stand-alone curriculum or in conjunction with specific subject areas to teach and reinforce a variety of skills and concepts. A sample of the scope available to educators is listed below.

Addressing Content and Skill Requirements by Subject Area

Subject Area Content Skills
Language Arts Mastery, creativity, storytelling, poetry, reflection, humor, personal narrative, regional dialect, folk speech, biography, family folklore,bilingual artists and issues, effect of translation on song and text, connection of language and culture, point of view Comparing and contrasting, understanding and using symbol and metaphor, vocabulary and special terms, listening, writing, editing, retelling, summarizing, storytelling, analyzing narrative perspective, synthesizing
Social Studies Geography, history, belief and spirituality, oral history, historical events, cultural groups, cultural diversity, sense of place, changing roles of women, occupations, relationship of environment and culture, cultural analysis, migration and immigration, influence of mass media, intergenerational relationships, urban and rural life, childhood, social gatherings, local history Mapping, fieldwork, cultural preservation, cultural analysis, community-based research, ethnography, point of view, using primary sources
Visual and Performing Arts Mastery and creativity, improvisation, pattern and variation, learning and teaching specific genres, sacred and secular forms, individual musicians and singing styles, classical genres from other countries, ritual, practice and perseverance, materials, instruments, making of instruments, rhythm, dance, folk music revival, color, pattern Comparing and contrasting genres and styles, tracing instruments across genres, studying music across cultural groups, interpreting symbols, crafts, analyzing artifacts and images, comparing crafts, genres such as needlework or basketry
Science Nature, ecology, environment, materials, special terms, sound, climate Understanding the environment, studying the impact of the natural world on everyday life, following directions, developing vocabulary
Math Measuring, counting, geometry Applying mathematics to natural situations, following directions, using precise terms and practices
Technology Creativity, innovation, communication, collaboration, research, information fluency, technology operations and concepts, digital citizenship Employing a variety of media and formats, finding and using information ethically, managing and creating multimedia activities, evaluating information, point of view