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Writing Activity: Descriptive Language

Using landscapes to develop real or imagined experiences using sensory details

Teachers and docents find that writing with art is an exciting, productive activity. Whether you are in a museum or a classroom, the following ideas and prompts can be springboards to writing for many purposes.  

Engagement Strategies: Have you ever read a book and felt like you were right in the place the author is describing? How did the writer do that?

Questions and Actions:

Landscapes are like the settings of a story. If we use our imaginations and tap into our senses, we can be transported into another place.

Look carefully at the painting. Take some time looking and thinking about what it would like to be there. 

Imagine you can shrink yourself and step into the painting. Where are you? Write what you see. 

Describe the light. Where is it coming from? What colors do you see? How do you feel? What is your mood? 

Look up. What do you see? Look down. What do you hear? Take a deep breath. What do you smell? 

Reach out and touch something and pick something up. How does it feel in your hands? 

Stop writing. 

Skip a line and write the word "Suddenly . . ." then continue. What happened to your writing? 

Share writing with a partner before asking for a volunteer to share with the entire group. 


Stress the importance of writing quickly to get details down. Pause to let them write after each prompt (question). Have them share their writing with a partner before asking for a volunteer to share with the whole group. 


Alternative Artworks: Any landscapes in the Apse or Bredt Gallery work well. This is an opportunity to give choices. You could also use any Chinese or Japanese landscape paintings that might be on exhibit. 

 

 

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Last Updated

May 18, 2017 1:53 p.m.

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