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Writing Activity: Portraiture and Point of View

Using portraits to describe a narrator's point of view

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:

If you were to hire a famous photographer to take a picture of you for a magazine cover, what would you be doing? What would you wear? How would you want the rest of the world to see you?

Questions / Activities:

Artists were hired to paint a person’s portrait much like a photographer might be hired to take a special picture today.

  • Choose a portrait (from the Davidson Gallery or apse, or any other). Spend some time looking. Become the person in this portrait. How do you feel? What are you looking at?

  • What is in the picture with you? Tell us why they are there. Include lots of details in your writing to help the readers imagine the portrait, even if they can’t see it.

  • What are you doing? What’s one thing about you that we can’t see? You might begin a line with “Once I...” or “Sometimes I feel as if...”

Possible Props:

Writing paper and clipboards to jot down responses to prompts.

What they take with them might become, with work, a character sketch or a poem.




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Point of view — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 15 2017 @ 2:24 pm)
Portrait — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 15 2017 @ 2:24 pm)

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Last Updated

May 18, 2017 1:54 p.m.

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