Art and the Foreign Language Classroom

Synopsis prepared by Lee Risley


A. Ideas For Setting Up an Art Project or Unit
B. Justifying the Use of Art in the FL Classroom
C. Art projects
D. Art reproductions
E. Art Sites on the Web (There are other, more specific sites mentioned elsewhere here.)
F. Spanish ideas (Not French or German, but ideas abound for everyone.)
G. Cherice Montgomery’s Masterpiece of FL ideas centering around artists (Spanish here, but....)

A. Ideas For Setting Up an Art Project or Unit

96/01 From-> "Joann M. Kissell" <>
Subject: Re: Slides of Spanish paintings

In my Spanish IV class as a final project for our art unit we used
HyperStudio and the students created presentations on an artist of their
choice (from Spain or Latin America). We started off the project with a
lecture from the art teacher which included basic information about
appreciating a work of art. (Students who spend 4 years studying Spanish
as an elective have not had time to include art in their schedule.) I
asked the students to take a "art-history" approach to their research
about the artist and the painting they chose. In the project they
included the following:

1) a brief biographical sketch of the artist,
2) the scanned picture along with a written description,
3) how the art work fit into history,
4) what they personally thought of the painting, and
5) a page of credits.

The only language of presentation was Spanish. The students were very
creative with their presentations. We spent two weeks in the lab
learning HyperStudio and preparing their presentations. Research and
writing was done before we got to the lab or on their own time. The
students had a great time and learned a lot in the process.

Joann Kissell


97/07 From-> George Walpole
Subject: Ideas for Teaching Art (long)

Hola, listeros

Many thanks to all of you who posted ideas and leads for the teaching of
art (I am planning to do a unit on Picasso to prepare students for the
Picasso exhibit: Picasso: The Early Years which is coming to Boston
in September). I wanted to share with you some of the ideas which we as
a group have generated:


Before any instruction has taken place, show a set of paintings by
Picasso and have students put them in chronological order. Then review
the correct order to see who came close in guessing the order of
Picasso's "etapas". I'm sure there will be some surprises here.


Using posters, prints, etc., create a museum within the classroom
setting. In this context the teacher can do the following:

a. Have students circulate to view paintings and answer specific
questions about each one, reading a short description which accompanies
the work.

b. Have students do a scavenger hunt looking for specific visual items -
the clues to which are printed on a worksheet.

c. Have students match painting description (on worksheet) with title
(below painting) or have students match titles with the works


a. Have students work in pairs to solve a Picasso puzzle (work divided
into 9 pieces). Student A receives the complete work, student B receives the
nine puzzle pieces. Student A must describe orally where each piece goes
so that student B can fit the puzzle together.

b. Teacher orally describes to class where the pieces go. First person
to correctly piece the puzzle together gets classroom extra credit. (Les
demoiselles d'Avignon would work well here).


>Form groups of four students (A,B,C,D).
In a jigsaw format have each of the students read an article about
Guernica. The four different articles will deal with:

a. geographical position of Guernica.

b. the bombing of 1937

c. Picasso's interpretation of the bombing

d. controversy of where Guernica should be exhibited today (article from
El Pais).

After individuals read for info, they work with others who read the same
piece to compare info.. Students then get into groups of four (A.B.C.D)
to teach their article to the other students. A quiz will be given to
test comprehension of information.


As an extra credit assignment, students are given a small detail of one
of Picasso works and must research in the library the title of the
painting. Teacher should keep on reserve the book(s) where they can find
the work.


>Form two teams. One member of each team gives a one word clue to
describe the  painting (clues cannot be word of title) which teacher has
shown the two players. Teams try give the title of the painting based on the
one word clues (no proper names allowed0. The team who guesses it on
one clue receives10 pts, two clues...9 pts., etc. Another version of this is
to have the two players face their team with their back to the painting
projected on the screen. Each team must give a one word clue to their
teammate to have him/her guess the title. Point values would be the same
as in the first version of the game.


Have groups of students choose a painting which they must act out for
the class (with props). Class must guess the name of the painting.


Create a work of art inspired by one of Picasso's styles or media. For
those who cannot draw, a collage would be appropriate. Have each student
report to the class on their work and why they chose that style.


Pretend you are Pablo Picasso. Keep a journal on the artistic life of
Picasso. Include an entry on each one of the major phases of Picasso's
career by explaining a work just completed. (This would make a terrific
writing sample for the exam.)

If anyone has other ideas, please post to the entire group.

P.S. I am going to ask my colleague who teaches French V if she would
like to join me in this project. I think this would be a terrific
intra-departmental unit.

Un saludo cordial de...
George Watson


97/07 From-> Mary Young <>
Subject: Re: Ideas for Teaching Art (long)

>and have students put them in chronological order. Then review the correct
>order to see who came close in guessing the order of Picasso's "etapas". I'm 
>sure there will be some surprises here.

I hope you will be able to find the portrait he did of his mother when
he was 14. It is so perfectly executed, it is obvious he had superior
mastery of the medium. I guess from there he must have felt he had no
more worlds to conquer, which led to his experimentation.

Since he was the same age as most of our students, that may have some
impact on them.

Great ideas, George. Thank you for sharing them with us. Now I can put
my posters and art books to good use!

Mary Young


97/12 From-> Bethanie Carlson <>
Subject: Using art to teach a FL (including body parts)

At the IL FL Teachers conference recently, I attended a workshop on
using art masterpieces to teach a foreign language. The presenter (whose
full name escapes me--Barbara from Buffalo Grove HS?) took the stance
that there is much to be taught from art without necessarily teaching
art/art history directly. For example:

1. Use famous paintings such as Picasso's Mother and Child, or many of
Rivera's and Kahlo's works, or Juan Gris and Picasso cubist pieces to
teach body parts. Instead of using boring, stick figure transparencies,
use the web to print out transparencies of these paintings and use them
instead. After a few minutes, students ask and express interest in the
works, rather than the teacher saying "We're going to study art now."

2. Using transparencies or posters that have people in them, have
students write a conversation between the people in the painting.
Consider the elements that could be introduced using Rivera's
politically charged murals, for example.

One of the proudest moments of my career was when I took students on a
field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and two students were arguing
their interpretations of a painting **IN SPANISH** so strongly that the
guard asked them to keep their voices down. (They were not yelling, but
were defending their points so vehemently that their voices were rising
above the normal hush in the gallery.) These were Spanish I students;
their conversation was not very complex, but they certainly got their
points across, and applied some great creative adjectives to describe
their opinions of each others' view. ;-)

If y'all are interested in other ideas along this line, email me. I will
compile a condensed list if there is interest.

Hasta luego,
Bethanie Carlson

B. Justifying the Use of Art in the FL Classroom

96/01 From-> Madeline Bishop <>
Subject: Art Project

Hi Listos and Art Lovers,

I've had some fun introducing my students to art, also. Can I suggest
that if you are a Spanish teacher you start with Dali or Miro, or if a
French teacher, Magritte. The students ADORE surrealism and it is
sometimes the way to get them hooked on the visual arts. I usually give
an art talk once a quarter about one artist. I give it on the same day
to all five levels of students, so it is in French in levels 3,4,5 and
in English in 1, 2. I include a lot of info about the artist's early
years, whether or not his parents supported his desire to do art,
whether there were family hardships, etc. The kids like to have this
personal information as well as the critique of the art itself. I have a
one-page generic outline (copies in both French and English) which the
students must fill out as they listen. This makes everyone pay attention
and pretty soon even the ones who said they didn't like art start
perking up.

In my French 4 class, I want them to start developing active skills to
talk about art, so I do a series of art days where they develop one
communication skill per day. Example: I give them a vocab list with
words for the kind of subject the artist has painted, and show examples
of each kind from art books. "portrait, landscape, still life, abstract,
religious scene, historical scene, etc." Then, working with a partner, I
let them choose from books of French art (many of my own, many borrowed
from public library or school library) They have to find examples of the
art subjects on the list. (Post it notes come in handy for marking the
pages.) Then they have to prepare to show their examples to another
group of two, and tell what the subject is, who painted the picture and
where the picture hangs, all in French. Members of this group of four,
then choose two pictures to represent their favorites and present these
to the entire class, giving the information as listed above. If you have
about 16 students in the class, you can do this in one class period.

There's more to follow, but I don't want the people to have to
pay for such a long message, so email me if you are interested in how
this project continues. Since we're doing finals and semester grades out
here in cowboy land, I'll save your request then email info in about two
weeks. OK?

Madeline Bishop


96/08 From-> Deborah Ottman <>
Subject: Re: Art project


With Picasso I teach colors, numbers, and shapes, as well as info. about
Picasso and the particular work. As an easy art project, I either have
students use colored construction paper torn or cut into shapes to
overlap and create any picture they like, or I have them cut out a
picture from a magazine to do the same process with. They must describe
their work in Spanish, orally and in writing, plus be able to ask and
answer simple questions about them in a mock art exhibit, for which
prizes are awarded.

All I have done with Goya and Velasquez is photocopy one of their
masterpieces with info. about them from a coloring book called Start
Exploring Masterpieces by Mary Martin and Steven Zorn. I cut each work
into fourths, giving one section to each member of the group. Students
fold their portion into a 4 X 4 grid. They fold a full-sized plain piece
of white paper the same way. They then must reproduce their portion as
an enlargement on the new sheet. The team members then assemble their
quadrants to produce the whole. For the info. I have them create 2 or 3
questions in Spanish with answers. We go over them orally in groups,
then as a class. They get a quiz the following day, and we judge the
best masterpieces.

Deborah Ottman

C. Art projects

95/12 From-> Bill Heller <>
Subject: Re: Art

Here are two that I've had great success with.

1. In level I we spend about a week doing "culture projects" Many kids
chose to select four works by Spanish artists and doing their own
versions using crayon, marker, pastels, pen and ink, etc. They selected
one to show to the class and explain. It was a hit.

2. I've shown self-portraits of Freida Kahlo, Goya, Picasso and
Velazquez (in Meninas). The kids do their own self-portrait in any media
and tell about themselves in the target language. This is a good way to
recycle Personal Identification vocabulary with upper level students
who've described famous people a lot.

Bill Heller


96/08 From-> "Helga Hilson (EWH)" <>
Subject: Re: Art project

Hello - my colleague and I have been doing something like this in our
second year Spanish class. We brought in books from libraries on Spanish
art and artists and showed videos of the Prado and of the artists we
concentrated on: El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Picasso, Dali, Miro. The
students worked in groups and had a few weeks to gather info and then do
a presentation on 'their' artist. The best part was a collage each group
had to do to 'copy' one of the more famous works. Most did a sort of
mosaic but we also had a very mixed media type of collage, i.e.
including parts of faces from magazines, real bits of clothes, feathers
etc. The kids liked the hands-on stuff and actually became interested in
some of these 'unknown' (to them) artists. There was some wasting of
time involved in the time given in the classroom. I would cut that quite
a bit. Seems they rather do it during "serious" time, i.e. their own
before or after school. Also, of course, there are some students who did
next to nothing. For that we had a group evaluation sheet every student
filled out, evaluating their own and everybody else's effort. It worked
quite well and the grades were accordingly 'adjusted' ( a private talk
with the 'slackers' did not find a lot of opposition to low grades,
surprisingly enough.) Have fun!

Helga Hilson


97/03 From-> Irene Moon <>
Subject: RIVERA & "Man at Center of Universe"

Dear Susan,

We have a lectura (1 page) in out Sp 2 text on Diego Rivera and I have
some books, slides I've purchased in Mexico. I decided to expand the
reading just a bit and had a transparency made of a couple sections of
the historical mural at the Palacio Nacional...discussing the purpose of
mural painting, Rivera's style and use for story telling. I had the kids
do some brain storming.

Then I showed them a transparency of "Man at the Center of the Universe"
and we talked about why it was controversial, what it had been painted
for, and again, I let the kids "read into it" what they saw and then
confirmed or clarified for them. This does happen to be one of the few
pieces that Rivera did that I do like and that I thought I could help
make the CONCEPT of MURAL PAINTING more relevant to the kids...
which was my goal.

Incidentally… for such works as these I have found that a transparency
is more effective than slides. Most copy stores will enlarge a color pix
and then make the transparency for about $6 total. Since I had the
enlargement done, I also had them laminate so I have a copy of both
murals about 11" x 14" which I pass around for the kids to scope out.

There is also an excellent video on Diego Rivera, available from a
number of sources. If you purchase, DON'T use the entire thing… it's far
too detailed. I selected about a 20min. segment showing how Rivera
actually designed, sculpted, mixed paints for one of the murals he did
in Detroit, Michigan. It is somewhat documentary, too. Altho this year I
told my sub to leave that part out.

What was the ABSOLUTELY NEATEST part of the mini unit was that after
showing the "Man at the Center of the Universe" and discussing...I gave
the kids, in groups of 3's and 4's, a black master outline (hand drawn)
and ask them to create the same mural, but for the 21st century. Each
ellipse could represent threats to our world (medical), promises etc.
etc. And they could replace "man" with what they felt would dominate/
control the 21st century. You've probably guessed it! A few had a woman,
several had a computer etc. They then shared and explained their murals.

I must say it was a very worthwhile activity. In no way comprehensive,
but very, very effective.

My sub just finished this and returned my materials so I have them at
home. For anyone interested there are maybe 3 pages I could send you:
the b/w master which kids used to create their mural, an explanation
from the Rivera guidebook about the painting and a sample of one done by
a kid. Contact me off line and send a SASE (just a reg. business
envelope) if interested.

Irene Moon


97/03 From-> Irene Moon <>
Subject: Rivera Mural Unit

Hola Listeros...

I'm sorry to post this to the entire list, but I wanted to get in touch with those
listeros who requested and to whom I have already sent the background
information and project for this unit.

I did several searches on the web looking for a photo of Man at the
Crossroads, the mural painting which students then, as their project,
recreate for our/their times. To my dismay, I found absolutely nothing!
There was one item which discusses the history of this mural painted for
 the RCA bldg of the Rockefeller Center. It was destroyed on May 22, 1933
and Rivera paid off with $14,000. Since he accepted the money, he could
not force Rockefellers to even keep his work.

He went to the Mexican Government and asked for a place to recreate the
mural, which he did on the 3rd floor of the Palacio de Bellas
a slightly smaller version. Still, I can not find any images.

Seeing the mural is such a key ingredient in this project that if you
don't have a copy of it, I could make you a copy of the one I used in
class. Mine is in color and about 8" x 14" and plasticized. I'm
guessing, but I suspect that it would run about $6 to make a color copy
and laminate to send to you. If you are interested, you can email me off
line. I may need to get a small mailing tube because I don't think we
can crease wouldn't want to. You should already have the
explanation; I sent that with the packet.

There is one more interesting aspect to this mural. Rockefeller also
sought a compromise with Rivera. He suggested that Lenin's face be
replaced with an unknown face. Rivera offered to add Lincoln, but
refused to remove Lenin. When he was charged with propagandizing, he
declared "All art is Propaganda."

If you rec'd the unit and want to complete it with the color mural
repro, email me off list.

Diego Rivera Mural at Rockefeller Center:

Irene Moon


97/06 From->         Janice Miyata <>
Subject:      Re: cartoons in the classroom

Here are two suggestions that come immediately to mind for using
Cartoons in the classroom:

1. I white out the words in the speech bubbles and let the students go
at it to create their own.

2. I hide the last frame in a 4-frame cartoon strip and have the
students guess what it contains  (either in writing or orally).  This is
always lots of fun.  Nice when you find a cartoon that applies to the
vocab. or grammar of a unit.

Hope to hear some ideas from others.

Janice Miyata


97/06 From->         "Dr. Paul Garcia" <>
Subject:      Re: cartoons in the classroom

Another suggestion re cartoons:  when they have 4,5, 6 panels or more,
then you might cut the order, especially with cartoons from Quino
(Argentina) or Vater und Sohn (e.o. plauen), and have students
demonstrate sequencing skills.

or, use the frames all but the last and have the students figure it a
punch line.

I've done these, it's lots of fun.

Best, Paul


97/06 From->         marta pabellon <>
Subject:      cartoons in the classroom

Thank you listeros,
Your suggestions for the use of cartoons in the classroom have been great.
I would like to hear some more ideas.  I use cartoons for sequence,
dialogue, punctuation, vocabulary, and story creation.  Sometimes, I have
been lucky and have found strips that have the same words used as verbs or
nouns, and in some rare occasions, I have found strips that have words used
in different manners (draw: draw a dog, draw the curtain).  Other times I
may use cartoons with two or three parts and I'll just use one and have
students draw or tell what could have happened before or what will happen

marta pabellon


97/06 From->  Carolyn Yoder     Yoder <>
Subject:      Using cartoons in the classroom

I have been using cartoons in several ways for the last few years:

*As bellringers on the overhead.  This especially works well for one panel
cartoons with mostly known and some "guessable" vocabulary.  I try to
connect them in some way to the material we are covering.  Sometimes it
works better to cut and retype the caption or punch line in bold larger type
under the picture.  Then the picture is the "grabber" as students get
seated, the caption can be uncovered and deciphered just after the bell
rings, and I make a transition from there to the day's material.  After
building my file of these, students come with some expectation of a good one
or a groaner.

*As class openers.  Some of the Garfield, Charlie Brown, and Hagar strips
are especially good.  I often walk through these with the class panel by
panel until the punch line (which shouldn't be too tricky).  Then I wait for
the groan, the "aha!", or the confusion.  Some students become very
competitive about seeing who can get the joke first.

*For development of sequential narration skills.  I especially like wordless
cartoons for this activity.  Given a four panel cartoon, I reveal one panel
at a time as I solicit all we can say about each panel.  This is especially
nice in giving a context for working with the preterit and imperfect
(description and action), but can be done in simple present tense also.
Then I can have students tell each other the whole story in small groups, in
pairs, in writing, etc.  I think this really builds their confidence to do
longer narration.  Sequential narration skills are very important in real
life and in oral proficiency and I focus on it often, especially in Spanish
II.  I find it helpful to give students a mnemonic device I call PELMA (did
I steal this from one of you?) which stands for "primer, entonces, luego,
mas tarde, al fin".  They can (and do) use their fingers to work these five
transitional words into longer narrations.

Carolyn Yoder

D. Art reproductions

96/01 From-> Maria Luisa Bevington <>
Subject: Re: Slides of Spanish paintings

May I suggest a different process? Have the students choose the
paintings that they would like to study, research, observe and present
to the class. Then they take the book that has the nice reproduction to
a photocopying center, where they will first make a photocopy of it and
then make a transparency to use on an overhead projector. It works quite

Maria Luisa.

On Mon, 15 Jan 1996, Sharon Scinicariello wrote:

>I agree that laserdiscs or CD-ROMs are great for art presentations if you
>have access to the technology. However, I own the Louvre set and would not
>bother with it for Spanish art. The National Gallery (Washington) disc does
>contain Spanish paintings, but you need to be sure they're the ones you want.
>I haven't previewed the available CD-ROMs. There is also a Prado videotape
>--I haven't seen it yet-- that might be useful.

>Remember that laserdiscs have the same format problems as videotape; make
>sure anything you order is in NTSC format if you are in the US. (Some people
>have multistandard laserdisc players, but most don't.)

>I second the suggestion of contacting any nearby museums.

> Stevi Suib wrote:
>>Why use slides? Do you have access to laser disks or CDs?  There are great
>>one for art. The National Gallery London or Washington are great and the Louvre
>>is online.

>>On Fri, 12 Jan 1996, Beverly Maass wrote:

>>>I want to do a cultural unit about Spanish and Mexican artists and their paintings
>>>with my classes. In order to do this I need to purchase some slides of their various
>>>paintings. Does anyone know where sets of these can be bought? I know that I
>>>could buy some slides at the Prado in Madrid, but I am not going there any time
>>>soon. Thank you.


96/01 From-> Sharon Scinicariello <>
Subject: Re: Slides of Spanish paintings

>May I suggest a different process? Have the students choose the paintings that they
>would like to study, research, observe and present to the class. Then they take the
>book that has the nice reproduction to a photocopying center, where they will first
>make a photocopy of it and then make a transparency to use on an overhead
>projector. It works quite well.
>Maria Luisa.

Great idea, but our local Kinko's has gotten very picky about copyright
(I'm not criticizing, just stating) and I had to sign my life away to
get one color transparency of one picture for classroom use. Just a
possible complication....

Sharon Scinicariello


96/01 From-> Bonnie Brodd <>
Subject: Re: Slides of Spanish paintings

On Thu, 18 Jan 1996, Joann M. Kissell wrote:

>Dear Rita,
>In my Spanish IV class as a final project for our art unit we used HyperStudio
>and the students created presentations on an artist of their choice (from Spain or
>Latin America).

My French 4/5 students are working on a similar assignment. We are using
Digital Chisel. They are working in pairs on a project on a French
impressionist painter. They must include information of the artist's
life and works plus select 4 works and do a personal commentary. We used
a scanner to add copies of works, downloaded images and information from
the Internet, added pictures from the Musee d'Orsay laser disc and used
a xap camera to add author pictures. We will share the projects in class
and students will discuss their choice of painters and paintings. The
rest of the class will write comments using the subjunctive to talk
about things like Je prefere que, il est bon que , je suis content que
etc. We did all of the research and gathering of resources ahead of time
and used about 15 class days to put the project together.

Bonnie Brodd


96/01 From-> Beverly Larson <>
Subject: source for art slides (repeat) / art activities

After all the Kinko controversy, I think it's worth repeating the
following information: I have purchased a number of French art slides
from Universal Color Slide Co. Call for a catalog: 1-800-326-1367. Their
prices are reasonable (about $1.50 for individual slides; different
prices for sets)
but there is no commentary with the slides. You can purchase individual
slides or sets of 10 or more slides by major artists. I haven't found
any other sources for slides. Has anyone asked the art teachers?

Another source of art activities: J. Weston Walch has catalogues for art
teachers, as well as for foreign language teachers. Contact them for the
art catalogue (sorry, I don't have their number with me.) I have one of
their publications that gives a brief history about major artists, as
well as project ideas.

One activity that I have found successful: in French IV we do an art
unit (we use the 3rd edition of Qu'est-ce qui se passe?--it's the third
unit) I assign a research project on Impressionist and
Post-Impressionist artists. Students write papers about the artists,
their subjects and styles of painting. For their oral presentations
students dress as a person or object in a particular painting. I take
pictures to inspire students the next year. We've had some very creative

Beverly Larson


96/01 From-> Beverly Maass <>
Subject: Spanish art slides

I posted the original question asking if someone knew where I could buy
Spanish art slides. There have been a number of responses both to me and
to FLTEACH. I thought that I would summarize the info for those who are
interested. Suggestions for obtaining slides or pictures are as

---Slides can be obtained from the Universal Color Slide Co. Call for
catalog a 1-800-326-1367. There is a recording for weekend messages
--Film the reproductions with a video camera. --Check with the art dept
of your school.
--Buy a set of close-up lenses for a 35mm camera and make your own
slides from pictures in books, etc.
--Contact your nearest art museum, esp. the education dept.
--Check the  art galleries--some have a lending library for slides for
--The National Gallery of Art sells works/reproductions of artists in
varying sizes. Contact them.
--The Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City sells slides of the
paintings in the Prado. Their number is 1-800-285-BOOK.

A big thank you to all of you who have responded to my posting. There
have been a number of ideas for art projects also mentioned. I have my
teaching project for the summer!

Beverly Maass


97/05 From-> Sharon Vaipae <>
Subject: Royalty-free Clip Art for F/S Lang. Instr.

Announcement of Royalty-free clip art collection for FL instruction

A collection of royalty-free clip art specifically designed for
foreign/second language instruction is now available from the following
WWW page.

(Royalty-free Clip Art Collection for Foreign/Second Language

This is an attempt to remedy the situation in which many commercial clip
art collections (in spite of large number of images) don't turn out to
be very useful for FL/L2 instruction.

The collection contains simple line drawings depicting adjectives,
verbs, and nouns. The drawings are linguistically neutral (at least, we
try to be) so that they can be used in different target languages. They
can also be used with younger learners.

There is no fee to use these drawings in any form (i.e. copying,
printing, modifying, combining, etc.) for not-for-profit educational

The collection is its beginning stage and we will be adding more
drawings. Your comments and feedback are most welcome. Contributions in
the form of original drawings are also welcome. We sincerely hope FL/L2
language instructors will find these pictures somewhat useful.

Sharon Vaipae

E. Art Sites on the Web (There are other, more specific sites throughout this compilation.)

97/12 From-> Bethanie Carlson <>
Subject: Art sites on the web

To all art-loving FL Teachers,

Two sites that I have found to be the most useful starting points for
projects are:

Both have extensive indexes and examples of pieces by major artists from
all cultures. Enjoy!

Bethanie Carlson

F. Spanish ideas (Not French or German, but ideas abound for everyone.)

97/08 From-> Pat Buckner <>
Subject: Re: Teaching Spanish Art--Dali and the song (I remembered it!)

>>there was a song about dreams you could use to discuss the differences
>>between dreams and reality, and move into the idea of surreality from there.
>>Unfortunately, I still don't know the name of the song, or the artist (maybe
>>some of you can help) and I can only remember fragments of the song--but
>>they'll at least let you see if using it is something you are interested in.

Part of the song's chorus is:

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night, I live another life<<

I don't remember the song title, but I think it was recorded by Heart,
and I think it's on "Dog and Butterfly." I'm not sure.

Pat Buckner

G. Cherice Montgomery’s Masterpiece of FL ideas centering around artists (Spanish here, but....)

97/08 From-> Cherice Montgomery <>
Subject: Re: Teaching Spanish Art  #1 of 3 ???

Hola listeros--

I have had a lot of success with some of the following activities for
teaching Spanish art. I got the impression from the person who posted
the initial inquiry (sorry, I just subscribed and found the request in
last month's archives, so I don't recall the name) that s/he was mostly
interested in interactive stuff, so I won't post the more "normal"
activities. FYI--we are currently on block scheduling, but I have used
these activities successfully on a regular schedule as well.

JOURNALS--My Spanish II students begin journal writing after the
Christmas break. They must write for five minutes in Spanish at the
beginning of each day on one of the topics listed on the board, or on a
topic of their own choosing. (If anyone is interested in the mechanics,
I will post them later). For topics, I alternate between asking students
to react to quotes by various artists or about various artists and
generic topics (for example: when studying Frida Kahlo, who did lots of
self-portraits--How do you think that your perception of yourself
differs from others' perceptions of you?). I give a short list of key
vocabulary they might need for the topic before they begin--we deal with
other words later (no dictionaries or glossaries allowed during the five
minutes). Both their writing and vocabulary have improved tremendously
as a result of this process and they like the fact that the topics are
always connected to what we are studying--it forces them to think about
the subject and thereby enables them to internalize it more easily.

PREPOSITIONS QUIZ--One of the activities I do as a quiz after we've
studied Las Meninas is ask them to choose appropriate prepositions of
location in order to complete sentences like: La infanta Margarita
esta---las dos chicas, Isabel y Maria. They look at a line drawing of
the painting (taken from Mary Martin's Start Exploring Masterpieces) and
write "entre."

DRAW GRID--Have students number a blank grid from 1 to 16 (unless they
have had prepositions) and then give instructions in Spanish such as: In
square number 6, write the name of the painter who painted lots of
famous murals in the National Palace . . . Under the box in which you
wrote Goya's name, write the style of painting invented by Picasso.

When teaching Picasso, blindfold two students. Have them go to the board
with chalk. The class gives instructions (or simply shouts out body
parts, if they are just Sp. I) and the two people at the board must try
to draw the bodies--getting the parts in the correct places even though
they are dictated out of order. Remove the blindfolds and have the
students tell you in Spanish which part is which. Kids get the idea of
the misplaced parts and review vocab./commands/prepositions at the same

PICTIONARY--Review art-related vocabulary words such as portrait, paint,
easel, etc. (our text has a whole list as part of the art chapter) using

INTRODUCTION--To introduce the art unit, I have bulletin boards up for
most of the artists we are studying and tons of library books all over
the floor. Students are given a scavenger hunt sheet which contains
random questions in Spanish about each artist. Students divide into
teams and try to answer as many questions as they can by looking around
the room at the bulletin boards and searching through books. They keep
the sheets for use as study guides throughout the unit (we check the
answers to the questions about whichever artist we are studying as we go
through the unit). Then, they break into groups based on which artist
they like the best at that time and answer another set of questions re:
style, themes, etc. based on bulletin boards, etc. They present their
info. to the class. This activity has been extremely successful and
really gets them hooked on the unit. Another teacher has a folder with
articles, color copies of paintings, etc. on each artist and a study
worksheet. Students use the materials in the folder to answer the
questions (in groups) and then prepare a presentation for the class.

BOTERO--Post copies of Botero's works--especially sculpture. Give kids
clay or playdough and ask them to recreate one of his works. Then show
15-20 min. of the video The Round World of Botero. We compare Botero's
sculpture of The Family with his paintings by the same title. Discuss
style. Go to the Wichita Art Museum for a tour of his works (Bill Koch
has a fabulous number of his pieces in his personal collection and
usually hosts an exhibit at the museum, so I take the kids). The museum
offers Spanish-speaking (and French-speaking) docents (tour guides) on
certain days, so I schedule them to take my classes through. You can
take it from there.

DALI--Ask students to tell you how what they see in dreams is different
from what they see in "reality." There is a popular song from 3-5 years
old that is written as though the singer is in the middle of a dream and
telling it to you. The imagery really makes the listener feel like they
are part of the dream. When I think of it, I'll post it. Anyway, play
the song and then talk about surrealism. To conclude, have students draw
or write a scene from a dream they've had.

GOYA--Have students bring in cartoons like The Far Side or Calvin &
Hobbes which serve as political or social commentaries (or better yet,
find them in Spanish). Let them try to interpret cartoons from Spanish
newspapers. Have them draw their own cartoons depicting ironies,
political events, or modern day society accompanied by captions or
descriptions in Spanish. Have students set a slide show of his works to
classical music which reflects the emotion contained therein. Divide
students into small groups, give each group a stack of 4 or 5 etchings
with "thought" questions typed below it. Have them use the painting to
answer the questions, then rotate the works among the groups. Students
really liked this activity too because I wasn't lecturing. To get you
started, try the book Literatura y arte by John G. Copeland, Ralph Kite,
& Lynn Sandstedt, pp. 12-16. When Goya's works were on display here in
town, I made up a list of T/F and essay type questions re: themes,
historical connections, etc. and allowed students to visit the museum
and complete the questions for extra credit. They had to look and read
the signs pretty carefully to answer my questions. Many of them
did--usually two or three friends went together. Show the painting Don
Manuel Osorio de Zuniga. Ask students to write or tell a paragraph about
what is going to happen next.

JUAN GRIS--I don't do much with him, but you could have kids choose a
magazine picture or some other picture (like a still life) and then have
them reinterpret it in the form of a collage.

FRIDA KAHLO--We do self-portraits, interpret them (based on a section in
our book), read about her--nothing terribly interactive.

JOAN MIRO--We use describe & draw here. One student is given a postcard
or notecard with one of his works on it, the other has paints or crayons
and a blank sheet of paper. The one with the painting describes it to
his partner, who must reproduce it based on the description only--all in
Spanish, of course. The "artist" may ask questions for clarification,
and the describer may look as the artist draws and give directions. A
variation on this activity would be to give students various colored
shapes cut from construction paper, ask them to make an abstract work of
art, and then describe it to a partner who must reproduce it.

PICASSO--I have so much on him, I'll post it in a separate message.

POSADA--Posada is a good artist for use when exploring satire. Many of
the Goya activities apply here. Have students talk about how we poke fun
at people from high society. Have students write their own calavera for
a profession after reading "For the general" and "For the Enchilada

RIVERA--Create a class mural by posting a piece of butcher paper on the
back wall or the floor depicting activities from Spanish class or
current events from Spanish-speaking countries (great for display during
Open House, Parent-Teacher Confs. or FL Week), each class member's
favorite memory, etc. You might wish to "plan" the mural first--have a
contest for the best designs, then let everyone help draw and paint it.
Have kids make an illustrated timeline of the high points (not the
details) of Diego's life and work. Compare the social injustices
depicted by Rivera with those depicted by Goya and Posada using Venn
diagrams (great way to bring in history and culture). Mari Haas came up
with this next one: Put three pieces of yarn on the floor in the shape
of circles which overlap (to form a Venn diagram). Give each group of
students postcards which are representative of the works of Rivera,
Orozco, & Siqueiros (all muralists). Have students write in Spanish on
small strips of paper phrases which describe each work. Have the class
form a circle around the Venn diagram and have students place their
phrases in the appropriate section of the diagram--for example--used
earth tones might apply to all three artists, while depicted common
people might not. Instead of lecturing about his life, have students
complete a preterit/imperfect cloze passage on it (i.e. Diego Rivera
_________ (nacer) en 1886 en Guanajuato . . .) One is available in the
community college text--Trato Hecho, Lesson 7, Test B, p. 165.

Cherice Montgomery


97/08 From-> Cherice Montgomery <>
Subject: Re: Teaching Spanish Art, continued (long) 2/3


I think I stopped the last message with Rivera.

EL GRECO--Use the line drawing from Start Exploring Masterpieces for
this one. Give one student a color copy of Greco's masterpiece--Burial
of the Count of Orgaz. Give another student the line drawing. Have the
one with the colored copy describe what colors each item should be
colored. Another option, have students take turns reading aloud excerpts
from Donald Braider's <Color From a Light Within>--a fictional account
of the life of El Greco--available in The Reader's Digest Condensed
Books--June 1968 (I think). I've allowed students to read it for extra
credit (since it is all in English). The June 1982 issue of National
Geographic has a wonderful piece called El Greco's Toledo complete with
an excellent section of full color reproductions of tons of his
paintings. I have my kids bring them in for extra credit and cut them up
and laminate them for bulletin boards. Follow this up with an article
from the Christian Science Monitor (Wed., Apr. 1, 1992) called
Historical Turning Point: The End of Tolerance--it is an excellent
article on the relationship of Jews, Muslims, & Catholics in
Toledo before and after the Jews and Muslims were expelled.

VARIATIONS ON A THEME--Most of the artists listed have all explored
similar themes such as war, love, death, and religion. Find examples of
paintings by each artist for each theme and then have students compare
and discuss the styles of the artists and the themes themselves based on
the artists' works. For example: WAR

Dali--The Enigma of Hitler
Dali--Self-portrait with Boiled Beans--Premonition of Civil War Goya--El
Goya--Los fusilamientos del 3 de mayo
Miro--Aidez L'Espagne
Miro--Still Life with Old Shoe
Posada--Revolucionario muerto
Posada--Ataque a Puebla
Rivera--Blood of the Revolutionary Martyrs Fertilizing the Earth
Velasquez--The Surrender of Breda

Sample questions:
-How do each of the artists feel about war? Are each of
the paintings applicable to all wars, or only to specific ones?
-Compare the paintings by Dali, Miro, & Picasso. What do you see? How do
you feel about war?
-If you had to depict war, what would you draw, paint, or sculpt?
-Many of these artists were expressing their feelings about wars in progress
during their lifetimes. Choose a painting and research the war it
depicts. What is the picture about? Why did the artist use the
particular objects he chose to paint? What would you express about the
Persian Gulf War?

--A reminder--all of this in Spanish!

LA CORRIDA--Compare Goya's work with Picasso's on this subject. A
friend, Augusta Gonzalez, teaches the steps in La Corrida using their
paintings and then tests her middle school kids in the same way,
including asking them to write a paragraph for or against bullfighting.
They also make a pop-up corrida from folders and, as an oral assessment,
tell her about it.

SISKEL & EBERT--Have students tape-record/video themselves discussing
famous artists and/or their favorite pieces of art. Ask them to create a
dialog in which they describe the paintings to a friend over the
"telephone" explain why they like the work and what they don't think
they would like about a work their friend has described to them.

MYSTERY PICTURE--Cover a laminated poster by a famous artist with
several numbered sheets of paper cut in irregular configurations. Remove
the first piece and ask students to describe what they see, then ask
them to imagine or predict what will be behind another of the pieces.
When all pieces have been removed, ask them to tell you what WAS
HAPPENING just before the scene in the poster, what they think WILL
HAPPEN next, or what they think the characters WOULD BE DOING if they
were placed into another famous painting. (This came to me by way of
Eileen Lorenz).

QUIEN ES--Give students portraits painted by famous artists and ask them
to describe the people or practice comparisons--La nariz de la mujer que
esta llorando es mas larga que la nariz del hombre que toca la trompeta.

ROMPECABEZAS--As each student enters the room, give him/her a laminated
postcard of a famous work which has been cut into pieces. Allow him/her
to reassemble it, then do journal entries, describe the work, post all
the works by the same artist & discuss style, cut into only four pieces
and let kids each have one piece as they come in, when they've found the
remaining three pieces, they've found their group for the day. (Comes
from Katia Parviz-Condon)

GIGANTICIZE IT!--Laminate a picture and cut it up into small, equal
squares. Distribute one to each student and ask them to reproduce it
exactly on a sheet of paper. Assemble all of the students' pages to
create a giant, class rendition of the painting, then show students the
original work.

JEOPARDY--Play jeopardy using facts about the artists to review.

MUSEUM ACTIVITIES--Ask each student to become experts on various works
they will see in a particular exhibit. Have them prepare brief
presentations over their assigned work. When you get to the museum,
students become the tour guides. Give students icons of clocks, hearts,
houses, etc. and ask them to place the icons under the works that: took
the most time to create, they would like to have in their home, they
admire, they would give as a gift, they think is hardest to understand,
they think is the best, etc. Have them explain and defend their choices
in Spanish--makes for a more interactive visit because they have to
think about the paintings in order to make choices about them.

FAMOUS PERSON PROJECT--Have kids prepare a video-taped "report"
on their favorite artist in Spanish using a creative format such as: a newscast,
a talkshow, a press conference with an audience, a documentary, a puppet
show, a monologue, a skit, etc. I used this as a final project at the
end of the year with my Spanish II's and got some wonderful things!

In closing, the possibilities for interactive activities are endless
once you get started! You should be aware that I use many of these
activities solely to introduce the artists or to illustrate a particular
point about their lives or work. They are all sandwiched between more
traditional activities like slide shows with my commentary in Spanish,
and students are required to keep a sheet of notes on each artist we
study during the unit.

I hope this is helpful. If these posts are inappropriately long for the
listserv, pleaaase let me know! I am going to post ONE more on Picasso.

Cherice Montgomery


97/08 From-> Cherice Montgomery <>
Subject: Teaching Spanish Art, continued--Picasso

Here is the last of the three-part series!

PICASSO--For starters, get <Descubre el Guernica de Picasso> by Josette
Dacosta Bray, (Aldeasa: Madrid), 1993. (I found it in the Prado gift
shop). The booklet has what basically amount to worksheets (written for
Spanish-speaking children, but great for English-speaking L2 students)
which help students learn about Picasso by thinking about his paintings.

I present Picasso with a homemade slide presentation. Simply type the
script in Spanish, reduce it to fit inside slide frames, xerox it on a
transparency, cut the transparency into "slides" (carefully), slip each
"slide" into an empty, plastic slide frame--available at most
photography stores, and you have a set of slides! I then found slides of
works by Picasso in a set of slides available from our local (and
school) libraries) which illustrated the text of each slide I had made.
[Picasso's World: The Restless Century--Slides, cassette, and teacher's
guide. (The Center for the Humanities, Inc.: NY), 1971]. I pulled them
out and inserted them into my own carrousel. Students would read the
text slides aloud in Spanish, ask for clarification when necessary, and
then I would show one or more slides which illustrated that point. They
loved it--and Picasso--as a result of that interactive presentation. We
followed it up with other activities.

To explore Guernica, I gave half of the students a black & white copy of
the work, the other half received the same picture, cut into ten equal
squares. Students had to use prepositions and description in order to
help their partners reassemble the picture. Then, they asked their
partner specified questions about the picture.

<Caressing Picasso> contains renditions of 19 embossed line drawings
with explanatory text in Braille so that blind people can "see" Picasso.
If you could find one of these in your library, the kids would love it.

The following resource guide also has some nice activities on Picasso:

Eileen Lorenz, ed. <Teaching Culture in Grades K-8: A Resource Manual
for Teachers of Spanish> (Montgomery County Public Schools, Dept. of
Academic Programs, Division of Curriculum & Implementation, Foreign
Languages, [National Endowment for the Humanities], 850 Hungerford Dr.,
Rockville, MD 20850), 1994, pp. 250-259.

Cherice Montgomery

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