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Webquest About Grades 3-5

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In The Migration Series Jacob Lawrence created a visual and written narrative of people moving from one place to another. This panel shows the movement of migrants through the landscape of the South. In other images, Lawrence focused on spaces of transition such as the aisle between the seats of the train, the corner of an empty room, and a view of a train moving through the landscape.

A passage from one stage, state, subject, or place to another.

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In this webquest you will:
  • Explore how Jacob Lawrence painted spaces and people's movement from one place to another in The Migration Series.

  • Create a journal that shows your own daily movement from place to place in images and writing.

  • Use the web to discover different types of spaces and places.

  • Compare your daily movements with a journey that you have been on.
Back to the Beginning

In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry.

The Migration of the Negro, panel 3, 1940-41
Casein tempera on hardboard
18 x 12 in. (45.7 x 30.5 cm)
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
© Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, courtesy of the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation
  1. Look at  Jacob Lawrence's painting, panel #3 from The Migration Series. Move your mouse over the painting and find questions to discuss with your classmates.

  2. With your teacher, go to http://www.jacoblawrence.org/art04.html, scroll down to the "series" box and choose The Migration Series from the pull down menu. Click on SUBMIT. Click on the small thumbnail picture to see a large image.

  3. In The Migration Series, find pictures of people moving from place to place. Then look for pictures that show different kinds of spaces, indoors and outdoors.

    How has Jacob Lawrence communicated the idea of people moving from one place to another?
    How many spaces can you find?
    What kinds of spaces are they?

  4. Do some virtual traveling. Use the web resources below to explore some unusual places and spaces.

  5. What kinds of moves from place to place have you experienced? For example, moving to a new home? School? City? Country?

    Think of one move or transition to another place that you have been through.
    How did you feel about this transition?
    In what ways was it a new experience for you?

  6. Think about some of the spaces that you move through every day. For example, going from home to school, from classroom to classroom, or indoors to outdoors.

  7. Sketch or photograph the spaces that you move through every day. Make a journal of pictures and writing that tells the story of one or more of your daily movements from place to place. Create your journal on paper, or on the computer. Include your own drawings or photographs.

    If you are using a computer, make your journal in KidPix, PowerPoint, or other software that can combine images and text. If you can, add sound. Use your own voice to tell your story.

  8. Present and discuss your journals with the class.

    How did you describe your movement from one place to another?
    How did the pictures help to tell your story?
Back to the Beginning


Go on a travel adventure with friends.

Travel back in time to explore places and spaces of the Renaissance era.

Find fascinating facts about the fifty states.

Find your way through some amaze-ing spaces!


Back to the Beginning


You will be evaluated on your written or digital journal entries about your ideas of space and transition. Your teacher may also choose to create rubrics for evaluation.
  • Journal and/or Multimedia Evaluation: Do your journal entries include reflective comments about how Jacob Lawrence depicts transition? How does he show the idea of people moving from one place to another. What evidence of "space" did you find?

  • Does your narrative or story clearly show ideas and thoughts about your own daily movements and transition? Is your narrative well written and show evidence of creativity and originality? Does it include sketches or photographs that are relevant to your written ideas? If you did a digital journal, do multimedia elements and techniques enhance rather than distract from your narrative?

  •  Learning Standards Addressed
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Think of a journey that you have been on.

What kind of transportation did you take?
How far was it from where you live?
How long did it take to get there?
What places and spaces did you see on the way?
How did you feel when you went on this journey?

Compare your journal of moving from place to place in your everyday life with the journey that you went on.

What are the similarities? What are the differences?

Discuss your findings with your classmates.

Print out one of the storyboards on this website, or use KidPix, PowerPoint, or other software that can combine pictures and words. Use drawing and writing to tell the story of your journey.

Back to the Beginning

©2001 Whitney Museum of American Art