introduction ⧫ description ⧫ identity ⧫ adjectives
This lesson was adapted from an activity developed as part of the CALTA 21 curriculum. This is designed as a gallery lesson, to be conducted in the museum, but could be adapted in the classroom by posting images on the walls and creating a makeshift gallery. This lesson is easily adaptable to different levels. It can work as an introduction to describing oneself and others, language functions often found in beginning level curricula. It can be used as a getting-to-know-you activity at later levels. And it can be adapted to be used when learning about a particular time period or literary work, by selecting images that are relevant. One of the most important advantages of asking students to take on the perspective and even body language of a portrayed figure is that they have to reflect on identity and perspective as it is embodied and by using multiple senses (sight, sounds, smells, possible even tastes and touches), which also encourages richer description than is often used in comparable activities.
- Can describe a person in simple words;
- Can take up the perspective of the person portrayed in the artwork and describe themselves in this person’s role.
Choose a portrait, i.e., artistic representation of a person. Create a list of words you may use to describe the person to fill the table below.
|Nouns (Who is this person? What does this person have? Who and what is in the picture? What does this person see, hear, and smell?||Adjectives (How does this person look? How is the setting? How does it smell and sound?
|Verbs (What is this person doing? What are other people doing in their environment/surrounding?
Now look at the exhibition and become this person. Imitate the body language. What do you hear/see/smell?
After you have a sense of this person, write a paragraph from the perspective of the imagined person. Begin with “I am…” Describe yourself and your environment as detailed as possible.