Art in the EFL classroom
Art is always a great resource in the classroom, especially when you happen to be a teacher of foreign languages. In Year 5, paintings by 19th-century landscape painters where chosen in order to work on oral descriptions. Some of their works were edited so that they were hardly recognizable and then printed off. In groups of threes and fours, students received one of those edited photocopies and a paper doily to create their very own landscape paintings. Knowing the names of the painters or even the titles of the original paintings was not necessary for the completion of the task. The aim was just to make students’ imagination fly in order to create a new painting and deliver an oral description.
Goals of the activity
- Make students compromise on how to complete the photocopy and decorate the paper doily that functions as a frame
- Work together in the creation of the painting
- Make an oral description of the painting; group members are expected to make equal contributions
- Videotape the descriptions; students are not allowed to read out their descriptions, they may only use their notes.
Vocabulary about landscapes (valley, path, mountains, etc.)
Specific vocabulary related to making descriptions (on the right, behind, etc.)
Structures there is / isn’t; there are / aren’t; use of the present simple
Expressing opinions (I think, in my opinion)
A special mention goes to…
Juan Manuel, Emma y Judith from class 5A admitted to have argued a lot in their group. However, they managed to be the ones who best divided up their oral presentation. Well done, guys!
In class 5B, Javier, Carmen, Idaira and Carlos reached top levels in the art of rehearsing. They were the ones who showed the greatest fluency and confidence while delivering their presentation. Congrats!
The works created by the students are now on exhibit in our very own and home-made art gallery. The original paintings were also put up to make students find out which one matched their photocopy.
Now there is only one question left to be answered. Which English painters created the original paintings? And what’s the title of the paintings and when were they created? Currently we are working on this particular aspect in the computer room… So don’t miss out on part 2 of this activity!
By: Lucía Rodríguez Cuenca