Munch Writing Activity
Introduction (5 min):
Welcome. Introduce yourself. What do you know about Edvard Munch - his life, his art? (Assess prior knowledge, at least for the first group) How have you discussed him in relation to Between Shades of Gray, your novel about Lithuanian Holocaust?
Synopsis: Between Shades of Gray, a New York Times Bestseller, is the debut novel of American novelist Ruta Sepetys. It follows the Stalinist repressions of the mid-20th century and follows the life of Lina as she is deported from her native Lithuania with her mother and younger brother and the journey they take to a labor-camp in Siberia.
Writing Activity (10 min):
We will study these prints by Edvard Munch and then write a bit to help us dig deeper and take time to look more closely.
Closely observe one print at a time. List what you see. Consider color, shape, line. Describe it as if your friend is on the phone (not FaceTime).
Look at the descriptions you just wrote. What do you think? What emotions might be attached to those lines? Draw some conclusions about connections between the book and this work. Based on your knowledge of Munch, what is familiar about this piece? For example: “This is similar to the Munch painting I analyzed because…”
Given what you have already observed and thought, what do you wonder? List some questions. “Based on what I know about Munch’s father, I wonder if this lithograph is about…” What story (if any) does it tell? What do you think this work of art further communicates or reveals about Munch’s views, thoughts, or artistic goals? What more do you want to know?
Share (5 min):
Ask students to volunteer to share descriptions, thoughts, and questions.