FDR & Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms
In the famous conclusion of his January 1941 speech, FDR named four “essential human freedoms”—freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship as one chooses, freedom from fear (of armed aggression, for example), and freedom from want (for destabilizing “social and economic problems,” he pointed out, had birthed the appalling political movements that now threatened American security). In each case the president pointedly added that these freedoms must prevail everywhere in the world.
Each year before Thanksgiving, I have students listen to a portion of FDR’s Speech.
What Do Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms Mean to You? Consider Norman Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms paintings, then interpret each of FDR’s 4 freedoms for yourself, your own way.
Choose just one, or all four. Use large paper (12×16). I permit students to choose whether or not they want to use paint, colored pencil, or marker to color their posters once they’ve drawn them, depending on the age level, teachers can customize this to be full-blown paintings, collages, digital collages, or just sketchbook or art journal prompts.
At one time, I taught both 8th Grade Civics and 8th Grade Art- obviously this is a great way to integrate disciplines or develop cross-curricular projects. History/Social Studies students (including HS, not just MS) could analyze the text of the speech before creating an artwork. When I taught Civics, I liked to have students scan Eleanor Roosevelt’s preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) for influence of or allusion to her late husband’s speech.
Excerpt from President Roosevelt’s 1941 Annual Message to Congress
September 2018 | CBS SUNDAY MORNING–Norman Rockwell’s The Four Freedoms Today
Subject & Elements of Design
(Careful Observation & Accurate Depiction of source materials)
1 Needs Improvement
|COMPOSITION & DESIGN|
Formal Principles of Design
(Arrangement of elements effectively capture, maintain and direct attention of viewers)
1 Needs Improvement
|CREATIVITY & EXPRESSIVE IMPACT|
Content, Meaning & Impact Invoke Mood, Feeling Evoke Memories, Associations Provoke Reactions, Thought, Discussion, Action
1 Needs Improvement
Improving with or adapting to materials used.
|STUDIO HABITS of MIND|
Engaging, Persisting, Planning, EXPRESSION, Observing, Reflection, & Pushing yourself
1 Needs Improvement
NATIONAL VISUAL ART STANDARDS:
- VA:Cr1.2.8a – Collaboratively shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present-day life using a contemporary practice of art and design.
- VA:Cr2.1.8a – Demonstrate willingness to experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of art-making or designing.
- VA:Cr2.3.8a – Select, organize, and design images and words to make visually clear and compelling presentations.
- VA:Cr3.1.8a – Apply relevant criteria to examine, reflect on, and plan revisions for a work of art or design in progress.
- VA:Re7.1.8a – Explain how a person’s aesthetic choices are influenced by culture and environment and impact the visual image that one conveys to others.
- VA:Re7.2.8a – Compare and contrast contexts and media in which viewers encounter images that influence ideas, emotions, and actions.
- VA:Re8.1.8a – Interpret art by analyzing how the interaction of subject matter, characteristics of form and structure, use of media, art-making approaches, and relevant contextual information contributes to understanding messages or ideas and mood conveyed.
- VA:Cr2.3.IIa – Redesign an object, system, place, or design in response to contemporary issues.
What is Fundamental Anyway?
I’m sorry. I just don’t get it.
To me, the fundamentals, the very foundation of the United States is equality, human rights, and community. Participating and compromising for the common good.
I got these ideas from Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and if they weren’t enough, also from Lincoln and both Roosevelts. And yes, Doctor King too.
But people who call themselves patriots, and nationalist and pro-America laud leaders who don’t believe in, let alone value, respect or protect any of those things.
And they let their anger, ignorance and disdain for the rest of us rage like a prairie fire.
But if I snap back, I have to consider relations and treat people better than that. If want to remind everyone of what our fundamentals are, I’m warned that I’ll offend someone, that they’ll think I’m too radical.
To me, the very heart, the basics, the absolute fundamental foundations of Jesus and the whole Bible, Old and New, is love.
Love the Lord your God with all your strength and all your heart and all you mind. AND love your neighbor as yourslef.
Love your neighbor? Who is your neighbor?
Love your enemies, pray for those that persecute you.
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Seems clear. Seems fundamental.
But if you say that, they look at you suspiciously.
Who are you listening to? What are you reading?
Um, Jesus, the Prophets, judges, and teachers of the Torah and Jesus, Paul, John, the Apostles and Epistle writers of the New Testament.
That’s heresy. That’s reduction-ism. That’s liberation theology. That’s too liberal. That’s watered down.
Here I was thinking it was distilled, concentrated, liquor, jet fuel.
Essence. Spirit. Anything BUT diluted.
Accepting anyone into fellowship who doesn’t submit to every jot and tittle of the law would be like condoning their every error.
Grace itself becomes a work, after having been reminded over and over that our own works are worth nothing.
Not just adherence to orthodoxy, but allegiance to homogeneity is the only safety.
I think to much. I feel too much. I talk too much.
My fundamentalism is the wrong kind of radical.
I’m stupid. I’m crazy. I’m a problem. I hate our heritage.
Don’t point out our ignorance, our apathy, our inconsistency, our mental illness, our stubbornness.
I get it.
Judge not, let ye be judged.
I must have logs in my eyes.
What I thought was fundamental, the fundamentalists find too progressive.
I thought evangelical meant having a personal relationship with God and wanting to share the good news of His love. Isn’t to evangelize, to share, to witness? But the more I speak or share, the more I’m isolated and marginalized. Muffled. Stimied.
What I thought was egalitarian and democratic and just is apparently “socialist” and “elitist” and “unamerican.”
Do I really not understand the fundamentals?
“Indeed I tremble for my country when reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!”
— Thomas Jefferson
” Jesus wept.”