Blending Art, Literature, and Problem Solving at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Common Core Standard 7 for Reading presents teachers with many possibilities for mixing all kinds of art forms with literature.  Music, photography, painting, sculpture, and many other media are easily brought into the classroom today because of the internet…the important thing is to use these resources heuristically.

7. Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).

Teaching students to analyze subjects or scenes in comparative forms gives us an opportunity to explore with them the traditions of storytelling—the many and various ways stories can be told and have been told throughout history.  Poetry, short stories, plays, and even novels and epic tales have important connections to art and present new, thoughtful ways to analyze and evaluate themes.
To start, you might explore the J. Paul Getty Museum’s “Telling Stories in Art” website where you will find a wide variety of art to connect to literature as well as lesson plans and other resources.  The Getty Museum’s stated goal here directly supports standard seven:  “To build students’ awareness of how stories can be told visually and how artists use color, line, gesture, composition, and symbolism to tell a story.”  These lessons encourage students to think critically about how writers use particular elements to tell stories compared to how artists tell stories similarly but with different elements such as color, line, and gesture.

In the Classroom
Though it is listed for grades 6-8, the lesson titled “Painting Europa” is especially useful for our purposes of meeting standard seven.  Integrating technology effectively means teaching students to apply it heuristically—to discover ideas and to solve problems. Try approaching the lesson with students this way: Tell students to imagine they are editors for an online, multimedia textbook that will include an illustration for a selection from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  Two paintings are being considered.  Students must submit their choices along with a brief explanation as to why the chosen painting best illustrates the selection.  Expand further by having them also choose music to accompany the selection.  You might pair them and have each team create a wiki with the chosen text, images, and music.  Try wikispaces…it’s an excellent tool for online classroom collaboration.
I hope you find the resources at the J. Paul Getty Museum and at Wikispaces useful.  Standard seven is one we can easily revisit often and technology affords us the ability to make each activity meaningful and beneficial to our students.



About Scott

I'm an American high school English teacher who loves technology and finding ways to integrate it into my classroom. I teach in southern Maine.
This entry was posted in Classical Literature, Common Core Standards, Lesson Plans, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Blending Art, Literature, and Problem Solving at the J. Paul Getty Museum

  1. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established
    blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Many thanks

    I sincerely appreciate that you taking a period to view my user profile. Feel free to have a glimpse at my web page as well for additional information and very helpful ideas :: printer ink refillsinkjet printer ink

  2. Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re
    stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care
    of to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful site.

  3. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of
    the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Bubblecast plugin is not configured properly. Please, contact administrator.
Add video comment