Every Painting Tells A Story

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1 Thomas Webster (British, ). A Slide, 1849 Every Painting Tells A Story Beaverbrook Story Starter Teacher Kits EARLY YEARS: GR. 1-4 wag.ca/schools Winnipeg Art Gallery 300 Memorial Blvd Winnipeg, MB wag.ca

2 Art is the perfect Story Starter! Inspire your students with a fascinating masterwork one of many- featured in the anticipated exhibition at the WAG, Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Choose from one of three educational lesson plans that encourage inquiry and stimulate creative thinking through conversation, writing and art making. Each Kit serves as a flexible teaching tool that can be used in a variety of ways to fit your classroom schedule and teaching style. Enjoy this Early Years Beaverbrook Story Starter Kit in the classroom; it s easy to use, grade appropriate, clearly linked to the curriculum, and geared for fun! Deliver the lesson in class and then bring your students to the exhibition to discover and explore many more narrative masterpieces in person! BOOK A TOUR TODAY Bring the world to your classroom with a visit to the WAG and experience Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (Sept 27 Jan 25, 2015) CHOOSE FROM: 1) 90 minute interactive tour $45 per 10 students or multiples thereof. 2) Full-day experience including art-making workshop $100 per 10 students or multiples thereof. Fill out a booking request at wag.ca/schools and it to or call Every Painting Tells A Story: Lesson Overview: Thomas Webster, A Slide, Early Years: Gr. 1-4 Subjects: English Language Arts, Visual Arts Thomas Webster (British, ). A Slide, Oil on canvas x 154 cm. Gift of the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Time Required: Single Class Lesson (1 to 2 hrs.); 2 Class Lessons if including optional art making workshop activity. Students will make observations based on Thomas Webster s painting, A Slide, and use the painting as a Story Starter. Working independently or in groups, students will explore the narrative elements in the painting; brainstorming and mapping ideas to inspire the creation of their own descriptive short story or written script for a dramatic play. An extended or optional workshop activity will give students an opportunity to create their own narrative painting. Designed to sharpen essential writing skills, this lesson plan will encourage students to apply and demonstrate an understanding of key story elements and narrative sequencing. Finally, students will be challenged to think and write imaginatively, and to gain an appreciation for the work of artist Thomas Webster within the scope of western art. KIT INCLUDES: 1) Lesson Plan and Workshop 2) High resolution jpeg of the painting, A Slide by Thomas Webster ( ). 3) Printable Beaverbrook Story Map handout 2

3 Lesson Steps INTRODUCTION TO LESSON PLAN: Present this Power Point image on a smart board or large screen for students to look at. 1) Ask students: Do you think artists tell stories in their artwork? Do you think this painting could be telling a story? Why or why not? 2) Tell your students that they will become like Art Detectives today as they look for any visual clues in the painting that might suggest the story being told in the picture. 3) Ask the students to quietly look at the painting for a minute or two. Ask them the following questions: Does anyone have an idea Where this story might take place? Why do you see that makes you think so? (a school,a house, a pond) NOTE: Accept all guesses or ideas with a positive response ie. That s an interesting observation! or It could be followed by Does any one else have an idea? What time of day do you think it is? What time of year? How can you tell? Who are these children and how do you think they know each other? What do you see that makes you think that? Are all of the children playing together? Look at the different children in the painting and the expression on their faces. Are all of the children feeling the same way about what s going on? Can you find a child that has lost his hat and is crying out as he s landing on his back? How about a boy crawling on his hands and knees? Can you find another boy holding his arm in pain? Can you find a group of kids playing hockey with rocks and sticks? How about a playful dog? Can you find two girls observing all the activity unfolding? How do you think each of these children is feeling? If you could be one of the children in this painting, who would you be, and why? OPTION 1 INDEPENDENT CREATIVE WRITING RESPONSE: a) Ask your students to imagine they are one of the children or characters in the painting. Encourage them to use their imagination and write a one page short story about what s happening in the picture from that character s point of view. Review the main elements of storytelling; reminding students to include information about their character or characters. What is their character s name? What is she or he doing? Is he or she playing alone or with someone else? How are they feeling about what s going on? Students should also describe the setting, and brainstorm about a basic story line. What happens in their story? Where does it take place? Is there a problem? Will it be resolved? b) They may want to use the Beaverbrook Story Map to help organize their ideas. Or they may want to begin their story with the following phrase(s): Let me tell you about what happened to me yesterday...,or You ll never believe what happened at school today c) For younger students, allow minutes for them to create their character s story. When they are finished, present the painting once again on the white board or large screen, and encourage each student to share their short story with the class or post their stories in the classroom. 3

4 Lesson Steps d) For older students ask them to take their cue from authors of books to create a more elaborate story based on their selected character s point of view. Allow them more time to brainstorm and write their stories. Remind them that they should think about what happened before the scene shown in the painting and what will happen after it. Encourage them to use the Beaverbrook Story Map as they consider the basic elements of story telling including the characters, the setting, the plot, and a potential problem/solution concerning the relationship between characters. OPTION 2 COLLABORATIVE WRITING RESPONSE: a) Pair students up and ask them to use their imagination to write a short play or tableaux (one or two pages) that brings the story in the painting to life. They may choose to have two or more characters from the painting in their script but they should keep in mind that there will be only two of them to read the script and act out their play. b) Allow them at least 20 minutes to brainstorm and develop their script. Remind them that they should think about what happened before the scene shown in the painting and what will happen after it. Encourage them to use the Beaverbrook Story Map as they consider the basic elements of story telling including the characters, the setting, the plot, and a potential problem/solution concerning the relationship between characters. c) Encourage them also to creatively embellish their story using sound effects if they wish. d) When they are finished writing their scripts allow them time to practice acting out their short play. Then present the painting once again on the white board or large screen, and encourage each pair of students to present their play for the rest of the class. Celebrate each tableaux! 4) BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THOMAS WEBSTER S, A SLIDE. After students have shared their written stories or acted out their plays, tell them that when they are looking at a work of art like this painting it is important and interesting to learn about the artist who painted it; to understand when it was created and why. Asking these questions can also help us to understand the story in the painting. 5) Begin a discussion with students by asking them the following questions: Does this painting look like a scene from today or from a long time ago? Why do they think so? (hint: look at the clothes, houses, etc.) 6) Tell your students that this picture was actually painted over 150 years ago by a well-known British artist named Thomas Webster. Many of his paintings focused on the theme of children at play, at school, and at home. Explain that the artist was working during a difficult and challenging time in British history when many adults had to move from the countryside into busy cities. Most of them had little money and had to work very hard jobs in factories in order to support themselves and their families. 7) Ask students: Why they think Thomas Webster painted this picture? Any ideas? After hearing from students make the suggestion: Do you think that adults back then liked paintings like this one because it reminded them of the fun they had when they were kids growing up in a small village in the country? 8) We don t know for sure why the artist painted it, but based on a lot of paintings like this one -created at this time- it s likely true that people back then wanted to be reminded of the good old days when they were enjoying the simple and carefree lives of children. 4

5 Lesson Steps 9) Ask Students: Can anyone guess what the title of this painting is? Tell them that Webster gave it the title A Slide and ask them: Why do you think he called the painting, A Slide? (ie. Likely because of the pile of kids who have slid into one another at the center of the painting) 10) Finally, ask your students: Do you like this painting by Thomas Webster? Why or why not? Do you think he captured what it is like to be a child? Do all of you still enjoy playing like the children in this painting? EXTENDED/OPTIONAL WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: (Materials needed: heavy white paper, pencils, erasers, coloured crayons or oil pastels, watercolour pencils, paintbrushes, containers of water) 1) Tell students it s their turn to use their imagination and paint their own story. They might want to think about painting a scene that shows children playing together in a contemporary setting. How have things changed since 1849 when Webster painted his scene? What kind of games do they like to play today? 2) Hand out a white piece of paper to each student. 3) Remind them that they should remember the basic elements of story telling as they create their image including at least two characters, the setting, and storyline: How will their characters relate to one another? What happens to them in the story? How does each character feel about what is happening? Will their facial expressions reveal how they are feeling? 4) Pass out pencils and wax crayons (or colored pastels) to students. And encourage them to draw the two or more characters in action on their page. Allow them at least 30 minutes to finish. 5) Next, they will have to think about the setting: Where does their story take place? At school, in the park, or maybe in outer space? What elements will they use to describe their settingsome trees, the ocean, a field of grass, a distant spaceship? At what time of year or day will their story takes place and how will they communicate that in the picture? Will they use bright sun-shiny colors or dark colors and a glowing moonlit sky? 6) Pass out watercolor pencils, paintbrushes and containers of water. Tell them it s time to paint the setting! Have them color the setting with the watercolor pencils, adding water with paintbrush. Let them know they can paint right over the characters because the watercolor will not stick to the waxy surface of the crayon markings. This technique is called wax resist. 7) When each student has completed their drawing, ask them to write a short story describing their drawing on one sheet of ruled paper. Once they are finished they can present their work and read their story to the class. NOTE: If you are not able to visit the WAG as a class, please inform students that if they want to explore Webster s painting of A Slide in person, they can see it at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in the exciting exhibition, Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Collection running from September 2014 to January2015. In this exhibition they will be able to see over 100 fascinating paintings created by many different artists from around the world, and enjoy exploring the stories that each one tells! 5

6 General Learning Outcomes: Grades 1-4 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: Grade Create original texts (such as paintings and drawings, dramatizations, oral or written stories...) to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques Share ideas and experiences through talking, storytelling, pictures, singing, illustrations, and print Take turns sharing information and ideas. Grade Use textual cues (such as story patterns, titles...) to construct and confirm meaning Identify and express the feelings of people in oral, literary, and media texts Create original texts (such as oral or written stories, pictures, dramatizations...) to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques Order ideas to create a beginning, middle, and end in own oral, written, and visual texts Participate in shared language experiences to celebrate individual and class achievements. Grade Describe personal observations, experiences, predictions, and feelings Identify the sequence of events in oral, literary, and media texts, the time and place in which they occur, and the roles of main characters Create original texts (such as personal narratives, reports, visual art, dramatizations, puppet plays, tableaux...) to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques Develop and arrange ideas in own oral, written, and visual texts using organizers (such as story maps, research planners...). Grade Explore connections between a variety of insights, ideas and responses Create original texts (such as murals, scripts for short plays, descriptive stories, charts, poems...) to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques Focus a topic for oral, written, and visual texts using a variety of strategies (such as jotting point-form notes, mind mapping, developing story frames ) Determine key ideas and organize appropriate supporting details in own oral, written, and visual texts. VISUAL ARTS: K-8-U1.1 Engage thoughtfully with artworks from various times, places, and peoples. K-4 A-U3.4 Demonstrate appreciation of art as a means of experiencing and exploring own and other s lives (eg. feelings, values, stories, events, cultures) K-4 A-V2.4 Demonstrate understanding that noticing details enhances thinking about and enjoyment of artworks K-1A-C1.1 Create images and objects in response to ideas rived from a variety of stimuli (e.g., from memory, imagination, learning in other subject areas, observation of art and of life) 2-4A-V3.1 Reflect on, share, and explain ideas about meaning in own and other s artworks 2-4 A-C1.1 Generate multiple ideas fro art making in response to a given stimulus (e.g., as expressed within extended brainstorming, thumbnail sketches, drawings, diagrams), with teacher guidance TEACHER S CORNER Sign up for our Teachers e-newsletter to get the scoop on WAG activities for students and teachers. to receive quarterly updates on programs, exhibitions, and school tours. To download our bilingual 2014 School Programs Booklet or for more information on all our school programs, visit wag.ca/teachers. FREE! Teacher Sneak Peek of Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery/Dalí Up Close Preview these stunning exhibitions and get inspired to plan your classroom visit. Show your MTS card at the front desk: Fri, Oct 3, 2014, 11am-9pm Sat, Oct 4, 2014, 11am-5pm 6

7 Beaverbrook Story Map Name: CHARACTERS Characteristics (description of appearance, age, and behaviour) SETTINGS THE PLOT (what will happen in your story?) How will your story begin? Potential problems/solutions concerning the relationships between the characters How will your story end?

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