Thursday, May 25, 2017

Inspiring Writing Through the Study of Art

Artist Connie Goulding
Art is such a great way to get the creative mind working. Children often connect imagines, thoughts and words before they have mastered the skill of writing.  Young children can look at any picture and come up with a story to go along with that picture, adding in details from experiences they have had. Using a three step process of observe, interpret, and create, children learn to generate ideas, organize thoughts and communicate effectively. 

 Step 1: Observe 

 The first step to using art to generate creative writing is to pick out pictures that have a lot of detail. It's easier to write a story about an imagine if there are multiple people or animals in the scene.

Guide your students in a serious of questions to help generate ideas, ask questions that guide the conversation. Ask questions that challenge your students.
  • What are the people wearing? 
  • What is the weather like? 
  • Are the people in the scene happy or sad?
  •  Who/what is the center of attention?  How did the artist bring you attention to the focal point?
  • What colors did the artist use? How do these colors make you feel?
  • What shapes do you see?  Do they remind you of anything?
  • What patterns do you see? How are they made?
  • If you were living in the picture, what would you see around you? What would you smell? What would the textures feel like? 
Keep your questions open minded. You may even want to write down their observations to use as a reference point later.

Step 2: Interpret 

Once students have observed art, ask them the question, "what is happening?" They must give their answer from the image and give specific reasons for their interpretation.

  • Ask short and to the point questions.  
  • Ask students to think about responses from other students
  • Highlight specific details to look at while analyzing art, like facial expressions, objects, time of day.

Step 3: Create

Now that you have taken the time to study and generate thoughtful conversation regarding the painting you have chosen to write on, it is time to create.  Your children should be full of ideas that will help them create stories and descriptions of the selected image.

A few ideas include:
  • Locate shapes and objects, describe what you see.
  • Describe the characters in the scene.
  • Write a story based on the character in the scene. 
  • Write about the weather.
  • Give students specific vocabulary to use in describing the painting.
  • Pretend that you are in the image. What do you see, hear or smell?
  • Introduce dialog to the scene. What is being said.
  • Sequence the story, what happened 5 minutes before or after the scene shown. 
  • Write from the perspective of the main character. 

 As you bring art into your writing, your children will learn to think and communicate clearly.  They will also gain a greater appreciation for fine art.

Fostering Literature Through Art

Below I have included a few paintings by my very talented mother. All pictures are copyrighted but can be purchased directly from the owner at conniegoulding@gmail.com






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