I recently worked with Sarah McNamara and her students on a class project. For 7 weeks, students in McNamara's Latinx History course at Texas A&M University researched an important figure in Latine/x history and wrote an essay based on that research. All essays were then compiled into a collective book of biographies, titled La Vida Fuerte. Each student received a copy of this bound book.
For my part, I got to add an extra layer to the book with illustrations for each biography and cover. I completed 30 illustrations in total, plus the book cover design. Each illustration was done with simple line work and a slightly muted, yet rich color palette.
There is also a corresponding Instagram account where you can see what these students accomplished and all 30 of the illustrations. This was a rigorous assignment for the class and they’ve done a tremendous job.
What drew me to this project wasn’t just the content, but it’s depth. As a former teacher, I know how important it is to go beyond just testing and papers. Rigor may not sound fun, but it adds value, engagement and enthusiasm. Students absorb the information more deeply, rather than just memorizing. This felt like one of those projects that really got me excited to come into a class during my college days. So yeah, totally cool and I couldn’t pass on it.