There are many ways to incorporate writing and reading into your art lessons. We do this all the time with written critiques, but what if we got more creative with it? We see art and the written word paired together all the time in books, cards, poems, advertisements. Bringing words and images together in classroom activities helps students to see how subjects and concepts they learn in different class all connect.
Letter to an Artist
Try this with a living artist and actually mail them out. Hopefully your class will get a a response. How exciting!
Look at a piece of art, like Georgia O'Keeffe's The Grey Hills. Date, write and sign a formal short letter to the artist, ask about the piece or make observations. Address an envelope too.
September 25, 2014
Dear Ms. O'Keeffe,
My name is Samantha, I've been studying your work at my school. Today we looked at The Grey Hills. I love the texture of the rocks. Are the yellow and brown stripes part of the landscape or did you make that up?
Choose two characters in the piece. Give them names. Write three exchanges of dialogue between the characters.
#1- girl crouching- Mary
#2- blonde girl- Jacquelyn
Mary: "You should smile for the painter."
Mary: "Why not? Your portrait will be much nicer if you smile."
Mary: "Don't you want to look pretty in your painting?"
Diego Velasquez, Las Meninas, 1656.
Mondrian, Broadway Boggie Woogie, 1942-43.
Describe an abstract piece of artwork in 5 complete sentences:
1. I see yellow, red, blue, and gray.
2. All the shapes in the piece are geometric.
3. There is more yellow than blue or red.
4. The yellow makes the artwork bright but the gray makes it sad.
5. The shapes look like a busy street.
What kind of SOUNDS does the piece make?
It sounds like a busy street: car horns, screeching tires, engines.
A Diamante is a type of poem. Its format is:
One-word descriptive equivalent
Summation (one word)
It looks something like this:
As if to never wake
You could use this project with other types of poems like Haikus or Limericks.
Writing poems about art is a wonderful way to bring language arts into the art room!
Feline Felicity, Charles Sheeler, 1934