Writing Activity: Great Leads and Narrative Sequence

Writing a gripping lead and subsequent narrative

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: Everyone loves a good story. One way to enjoy art is to use the details in the work and imagine a story. What happens when you go to the library and read the first line of a book? It makes you want to keep reading or put it back on the shelf. 

Questions / Activities: 

- The first line of a story engages the reader to read on

- What do you think is happening in this picture? 

- Work with a partner or alone and create a "lead" (opening line). Go around and share leads.

- Write your own lead on the top line of your paper. 

Give everyone time to free write, just allowing ideas to grow out of the lead. Encourage them to look back at the painting's details for ideas of how to move the story forward if they get stuck. 

Possible Props: Have several leads made up of your own, for examples. Also: clipboards, paper, pencils

Alternative Images: 

Hoppner, Digby Children

Attack on the Emigrant Train

Picasso, Two Girls Reading


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Last Updated

May 18, 2017 1:55 p.m.


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