April 16, 2008 – ¡Vámonos!

Day: April 16, 2008

I’ve mentioned before how I think that language learning should not be a stand alone but creatively integrated into the curriculum. Today I’ve been alerted to a couple of videos that I can see being used to do just that, using works of art as the stimulus for speaking activities.

Helen Myers (of ALL President and MFLResources fame) passed on a tip from Glynis Rumley about Women in Art, a lovely video compilation of many female faces from works of art morphing into one another.

The information on Youtube about it says –
500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art
Music: Bach’s Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 performed by Yo-Yo Ma
Nominated as Most Creative Video
2007 YouTube Awards
For a complete list of artists and paintings visit http://www.maysstuff.com/womenid.htm

Helen asked for ideas of how this could be exploited. One answer suggested using it as an ‘observation’ piece on which you ask questions at the end along the lines of How many brunettes? How many blondes? How many earrings? How many faces? What is the most popular eye colour/dress colour? How many hats? Or you could use the stills of the individual pictures from the site above – pupils choose one to describe then communicate the description to a partner / group who have to pick the correct portrait. Or, if they’re up for it, draw the portrait then compare to the original.

Along these lines, I found this video on Teachertube called Mona et Paloma. A class use the Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci and Paloma by Picasso as the stimuli for a speaking activity. Having drawn their own versions of the portraits, they imagine that Mona and Paloma are members of their families, describing them in as much detail as they can in French. Adds interest to the sometimes tame and boring, and potentially touchy subject of families.

And whilst I was there, I came across the following video – similar to Women in Art, but solely about Picasso. It could be used in a similar way to the above videos – descriptions, family members etc, and also for cultural awareness of the life and times of a Spanish artist, linked to the art curriculum.

Any more ideas of activities, or suggestions of other video clips you’ve discovered of a similar vein?

PS more ideas on integrating art and languages in Mira Miró.

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