Every Painting Tells A Story

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1 Salvador Dalí (Spanish, ). Equestrian Fantasy: Lady Dunn, 1954 Every Painting Tells A Story Beaverbrook Story Starter Teacher Kits MIDDLE YEARS: GR. 5-8 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 Middle 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: Salvador Dalí, Equestrian Fantasy: Lady Dunn, Level: Grade 5-8 Subjects: English Language Arts, Visual Arts Time Required: Single Class Lesson (1 to 1 ½ hrs.) Salvador Dalí (Spanish, ). Equestrian Fantasy: Lady Dunn, Oil on canvas x cm. Collection of the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/ SODRAC (2014) Lesson Overview: Students will make observations based on Salvador Dalí s painting, Equestrian Fantasy: Lady Dunn and use the painting as a Story Starter. Working independently or in groups, students will explore the narrative elements in the painting; brainstorming ideas and making inquiries that will inspire the creation of their own descriptive short story. Designed to sharpen essential writing skills, this lesson plan will also encourage students to think imaginatively and to gain an appreciation for the work of artist Salvador Dalí within the history of western art. KIT INCLUDES: 1) Lesson Plan and Workshop 2) High resolution jpeg of the painting, Equestrian Fantasy: Lady Dunn by Salvador Dalí. 3) Printable Beaverbrook Story Map handout 2

3 Lesson Steps INTRODUCTION TO LESSON: 1) Present this image on a smart board or large screen for students to look at. 2) Ask students the following questions and make some initial observations as a group: What is this image? Is it a photograph... a painting? Why do you think so? (Confirm that it is a painting created by the Spanish painter, Salvador Dalí) Do you think this painting tells a story? Why or why not? 3) Tell students that they will be using this painting as a Story Starter. Encourage them to look closely at all the intriguing details in the painting as they brainstorm ideas and complete their creative writing assignment. Explain that once they are finished their creative response and have shared their work with the class, there will be a discussion about the importance and historical context of the painting, and the artist who created it. 4) Teachers may choose from two creative writing response options for this lesson plan; one that encourages students to write independently, and the other, providing a group creative writing activity. OPTION 1 INDEPENDENT CREATIVE WRITING RESPONSE: THE STORY MACHINE a) Begin this lesson by presenting the question: What about this image makes you curious? Ask each student to brainstorm five questions they would like to ask about what they see in this painting, and write their questions on a piece of paper. Once they are finished, each student will pass their five questions to the student left of them. Sample Questions: Who is this woman? Where is she? What is she doing? How is she feeling? Why is she holding a bird? OPTION 2 Have each student consider their neighbour s five questions as they create an imaginative and descriptive one or two page short story based on what they see in the painting. When they are finished writing their story, encourage each student to share the questions they were given and then tell their story. How did they creatively address the questions? Students may need to be reminded to include the essential elements of storytelling in their writing including a description of the main character(s), setting and plot. COLLABORATIVE CREATIVE WRITING RESPONSE: THE STORY MACHINE a) Break students into small groups of three or four. Have each group carefully look at the painting and brainstorm any interesting words, feelings or ideas for five minutes. Once they are finished brainstorming, ask each group to use their ideas and imaginations to create the first two sentences of a story about what they see. Encourage them to write in an open-ended way that invites the addition of new plot ideas and story details. b) After writing two sentences, each group will pass their sheet to the group on the left. The next group adds two lines to the existing story line and then passes the story to the next group, and so on. Encourage students to use the Beaverbrook Story Map handout as a guide as they consider the basic elements of storytelling, including the characters, the setting, the plot and a potential problem/solution concerning the relationship between characters. c) Once the different stories have been circulated among all the groups ask the final group to share their finished story by reading it aloud to the class. How many different stories did the students come up with based on what they see in the painting? 5) BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT SALVADOR DALÍ S EQUESTRIAN FANTASY: LADY DUNN After students share their creative short stories, tell them that when they are looking at a work of art like this painting by Dalí it is important and interesting to learn about the actual context of the painting; to understand when it was created, by whom and for what purpose. Begin a class discussion by asking students: 3

4 Lesson Steps Does anyone have any ideas about who this might be a painting of, or when it might have been painted? Why do you think so? (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? ) 6) Inform students that this painting is a portrait of a British woman named Marcia Anastasia Christoforides, also known as Lady Dunn by association to her husband, the Canadian banker and financier, James Hamet Dunn. Lady Dunn commissioned the celebrated Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí to paint her portrait in Judging by the way that Dalí painted her, ask the students how they would answer the following questions: How would you describe Lady Dunn in the painting? What does this painting reveal about who she is? What would you say about her social status by looking at the way she is dressed? Do you think she is wealthy? What do you see that makes you think so? What kind of life do you think Lady Dunn leads? Does she work? Are there any props that give us a clue about her profession? 7) Inform students that Lady Dunn loved show horses like the lovely palomino horse she is riding in this portrait. She actually owned an impressive collection of trophywinning show horses, and race horses, and apparently, according to friends, Lady Dunn gave each of her horses a special name composed of seven letters such as Bustino and Mystiko. Perhaps she thought the number seven was her lucky number! We don t know the name of the horse in this painting; perhaps students can come up with some seven letter name possibilities? Continue the discussion by asking the following questions: Judging by Lady Dunn s body gestures and the impression on her face in this painting, how do you think she is feeling at this moment? Does Lady Dunn seem like someone you would like to meet? Why or why not? Who do you think this portrait was made for? Why? Where do you think it was displayed? Why do you think Dalí named the painting Equestrian Fantasy: Lady Dunn? Are there some strange or fantastical details in this painting? Did you spot the various small animals in the painting- a squirrel, two deer, a rabbit, a frog, and a salamander? What do those animals remind you of? (Fairytales perhaps?) Why do you think the artist added those details? (for fun? To balance the seriousness of the portrait? To speak to the fairytale-like-life that Lady Dunn is living?) 8) Explain to students that while we don t know exactly what the artist Salvador Dalí was thinking when he created this portrait, he was known to add unexpected and surprising elements in his paintings and portraits including imaginary or real life creatures. As a leader of the Surrealist movement in the 1930 s, Dalí was celebrated for his unique works of art which brought otherwise unrelated objects together in random settings -as they might occur in a dream or to the subconscious mind. Dalí continued to experiment with his art until his death in A fascinating artist notorious for his colorful personality and his striking moustache Dalí was very famous during his life time, attracting the attention of many international patrons including Lord and Lady Dunn who paid a lot of money to Dalí for him to create unique portraits of them. Today, Dalí is celebrated as one of the most inventive and important modern painters in the history of art. 9) Continue the discussion by asking the questions: How do you like this painting by Dalí? What words would you use to describe it? Do you think he was successful in capturing our curiosity about Lady Dunn? Would your short story about Lady Dunn be different now that you know more about her and the artist who painted the picture? If so, how would it change? NOTE: If you are not able to visit the WAG as a class, please inform students that if they want to see Dalí s painting of Lady Dunn in person, they can see it at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in the exhibition, Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery running from September 2014 to January In this exhibition and the accompanying WAG show called Dalí Up Close, there will be several fascinating portraits and paintings by Salvador Dalí to explore, including his monumental masterpiece called Santiago El Grande. 4

5 Lesson Steps EXTENDED/OPTIONAL WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: Pair your students up and ask them to interview each other to learn about the things that each one likes to do the most. Then ask them to use pencil crayons or acrylic paint to create an imaginative portrait of their partner in a setting that reflects what they currently like to do, or would like to do when they are older. Feel free to add some interesting or intriguing details that keeps the viewer guessing what s the story? behind this work of art. General Learning Outcomes: Grades 4-8 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: Explore connections between a variety of insights, ideas, and responses Experiment with arranging ideas and information in a variety of ways to clarify understanding Identify mood evoked by oral, literary, and media texts Create original texts (such as murals, scripts for short plays, descriptive stories, charts, poems...) to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques Identify relevant personal knowledge of a topic and possible categories of questions and purposes for group inquiry or research Choose descriptive language and sentence patterns to clarify and enhance ideas Appreciate that everyone in a group has to work together to achieve cooperative and collaborative group tasks, and act accordingly. VISUAL ARTS: 5 8 a u2.2 Demonstrate awareness of general characteristic of art within groups (e.g., cultural, social, historical, art movements) 5 8 a u3.1 demonstrate understanding of the multiple roles and purposes of art and design in society (e.g., personal fulfillment, social commentary, religious expression, commercial persuasion, status) 5 8 a u3.3 demonstrate understanding of the intended meanings and/or purposes of artworks encountered in own viewing and art making experiences 5 8 a u3.6 Demonstrate awareness of the impact of context on artists and their art (e.g., consider personal, social, cultural, geographical/environmental, historical contexts) 5 8 a V1.2 Generate relevant questions and contributes thoughtfully to discussions in art learning experiences 5 8 a V3.1 Share and justify interpretations of own and others artworks (e.g., share responses, discuss personal connections, consider contexts in which works were created, explain what and how the art is communicating) 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 5

6 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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