LANGUAGE ARTS INSTRUCTOR
- Charleston, S.C.
Junius Wright is a Language Arts teacher at the Academic Magnet High School known for his innovative lessons and integration of art, music, and modern media into the traditional Language Arts curriculum. His unique lessons spark student curiosity, nurture discovery, and help students recognize the value of playing with what they learn. When Junius is not teaching, he enjoys Paddle Boarding, Running, and juggling (yes, he can juggle fire). He lives on Oak Island, near Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife, Tracy, and their three children Zoe, Sadie, and Sage.
The Three Dimensional Story Project
Inspired by a school visitation by the artist, Eames Demetrios, the Three Dimensional Story Project (3DSP) is a collection of stories written by Academic Magnet creative writing students. The stories chronicle fictional events that attempt to explain why the nearby Naval Shipyard was abandoned in the 1990's. The project features metal markers that summarize stories “discovered” by the students at eight sites on the Naval Shipyard. In addition to the markers, visitors to the sites can use their smart phones to read QR codes and instantly view an image of a marker, text of a story, or a video clip posted on the 3DSP project webpage (www.3DSP.wikispaces.com).
The Conjure Woman Project Writing students met with the Washington, D.C. artist, Renee Stout, and toured an exhibition of her artwork at the Halsey Institute of Modern Art in Charleston, SC. Students used their experience to create stories and poems based on Stout's artwork. The student works are posted on the Tales of the Conjure Woman web page (www.reneestout.wikispaces.com).
The Shoebox Project
The Shoebox Project challenges students to design and produce a piece of assemblage art and write a literary artist statement that uses literary tools to explain how individual objects in their work establishes the theme of the work.
The Aldwyth Project
The Aldwyth Project was centered around The Aldwiki, a site featuring student's research, observations, interpretations, and creations related to works created by the artist, Aldwyth. The student's explications and ekphrastic poems inspired by Aldwyth's works were posted on the Aldwiki webpage (www.aldwythexhibition.wikispaces.com/).
The Spoleto Teacher Blog
The goal of the Spoleto Teacher Program was to offer master teachers a unique opportunity to develop classroom lessons through the comprehensive study, attendance, and interpretation of multiple performances at the Spoleto festival. An example of the blog maintained during the 2008 Spoleto Festival can be viewed at the following address: http://spoletoteacher.blogspot.com/2008/06/conversation-with-hotel-modern.html
AN EXPLICATION OF ROMANTICISM THROUGH ART AND POETRY
In this lesson, students use art and poetry to explore and understand major characteristics of the Romantic period. First, students are introduced to the historical, societal, and literary characteristics of the Romantic period. Next, students deepen their understanding of Romanticism through an evaluation of William Wordsworth's definition of poetry. Students then complete an explication of a painting from the Romantic period, noting its defining characteristics.
ANALYZING SYMBOLISM, PLOT, AND THEME IN DEATH AND THE MISER
Students apply the analytical skills that they use when reading literature to an exploration of the underlying meaning and symbolism in Hieronymous Bosch’s early Renaissance painting Death and the Miser.
RENAISSANCE HUMANISM IN HAMLET AND THE BIRTH OF VENUS
After reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, students identify, analyze, and explain how elements in Botticelli’s painting Birth of Venus and examples from the play illustrate the philosophy of Renaissance Humanism.
EXPLICATING THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY BY SALVADOR DALI
Students use questioning, creative writing, and sketching to delve into a deep exploration of Dali's painting, The Persistence of Memory. The students then use notes from their exploration to discuss connections between the painting and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
BEST LOCALLY PRODUCED VIDEO of 2013
Students in my Creative Writing class wrote and produced a film that featured images they created for their six-word memoirs. Their film was voted as "Best Locally Produced Video of 2013" in the Charleston City Paper's "Best of Charleston" contest .
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CREATE A PARALLEL HISTORY IN THE NAVY YARD
The Charleston City Paper has featured two articles about the Three Dimensional Story Project created by my Creative Writing Students. The first article, "High School Students Create A Parallel History In the Navy Yard", provides a general overview of the project. The second article, "What if the Navy Yard was the site of bizarre human testing and a mysterious outbreak?", was included in a special issue of the City Paper that explored alternative events in Charleston's history.
Smith Magazine's Classroom of the Week, March 2012
A Smith Magazine article featured the activities that I used to help my Creative Writing students write and produce both their six-word memoirs and their Six-Word Memoir film.
WOMEN IN RELIGION
Post and Courier article about the She Shall Be Called Woman exhibition that I curated for my student's study of the female protagonist.
THE GREAT BIG PAINTINGS OF FLETCHER CROSSMAN
Charleston City Paper article about an exhibition featuring works created by our classroom artist in resident, Fletcher Crossman.
THE TIMPSON CLASSROOM INSTALLATION (2010)
Two works by the Charleston artist, Ben Timpson were exhibited in my classroom and were later featured in an exhibition of Timpson's works at a local gallery. Students created the Timpsonwiki, an online website were students posted their interpretations of Timpson's works.
SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN (2009): Educational Consultant and Curator
The She Shall Be Called Woman exhibition featured visual works of art created by seven Charleston artists exploring the female protagonist and the role of woman in faith. Students used works from the exhibition to explore the role of the female protagonist in literature, visited the exhibition, and then wrote literary reviews about works in the exhibition. After the exhibition's close three of the works from the exhibition were installed in Mr. Wright's classroom at the Academic Magnet High School and were integrated into a unit on Paradise Lost. For more information, visit the She Shall Be Called Woman exhibition web site and read an article about the exhibition in The Charleston City Paper.
GREAT BIG PAINTINGS (2008): Educational consultant and Curator
Project Fusion focused on the installation of six original works of art created by Charleston artist, Fletcher Crossman. The works were installed in classrooms and stairwells at the school. During the five week installation, the works were integrated into the Creative Writing and European Literature classes through a wide variety of activities and projects. The paintings later joined other works by Crossman for his exhibition, Great Big Paintings, where words and images created by students were projected onto Crossman's canvasses transforming them into new , interpretative works of art. The exhibition was voted by The Charleston City Paper as "Best Art Gallery Show for 2009".
THE CABELL COLLABORATION (2003)Educational consultant and Curator
A collaborative project with the Academic Magnet's 2003 artist in residence, Cabell Heyward. The project included visits by the artist and a classroom installation of an original work created by Heyward which was later featured in an exhibition of Heyward's works. Activities included explications written by students using their knowledge of literary tools. The project culminated with a field trip to the exhibition, Peril Dream Promise, which featured 15 of Heyward's assemblage pieces.
Pecha Kucha Presentation
One of six speakers selected by the Charleston Creative Parliament to present at Pecha Kucha 18 on May 7, 2013.
Writing Without Words, Classroom Creations for the Real World, and Fueling the Fires of Literacy: Sparking Student Curiosity and Imagination through auditory and visual media.
South Carolina Council of Teachers of English Conference, Kiawah, S.C. 2010, 2011, and 2013.
Integrating the Arts in the English Classroom
National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, New York, NY. 2007.
Visual Literacy Integration Presentation
The South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education Arts Integration Conference, Columbia, SC. 2007.
Differentiated Teaching Through the Integration of Visual Literacy Skills
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Spring Conference. North Charleston, SC. 2007.
Spoleto Festival USA Teacher's Institute
Panel Member and workshop presenter 2005-2007.
The Visual Literacy Project Institute (Project Leader)
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC. 2005.
Integrating Visual Literacy into the Traditional Classroom Curriculum
District-wide workshop conducted for Lexington County Art teachers. Columbia, SC 2004.
Using Visual Literacy to Differentiate in the Gifted Classroom
South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education. 2002 and 2003.