Lesson Plan

Famous Art

Using descriptive language to describe artistic elements like line, shape, and color
Patricia B.
Technology coordinator
Old Bonhomme Elementary School
St. Louis, United States
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The student will be able to identify famous paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, they will learn how to use descriptive language to identify artistic elements in art. 

English Language Arts
Grades K – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Descriptive Writing

Script: Define: Show/say: What is a Description?: Say: A description is statement that tells you how something or someone looks, sounds or words that describe something or someone. Say: Here are some  examples of descriptive statements: The girl is very tall and skinny, The landscape is beautiful. The colors are bright. The flowers are red and white. The painting has squiggly lines.  Say/Show: Look around the room, what words might you use to describe this room? Say: When we describe art we focus on artistic elements like Line, color, shape, and mood.  Say/Show: Today we will be using what we know about describing words to describe some pieces of art. This will help us see the importance of using precise descriptive language when we write. Say: We will explore the art of Vincent Van Gogh. (display the self-portrait of him) Say: As you learn about his art, think about …What kind of colors do you see? Are they dark, light, bright? (display a photo of an art piece by Van Gogh) Can you see any shapes? Are they tall shapes, short shapes, large shapes, small shapes? (display a photo of an art piece) What are the lines like? Did the artist make squiggly lines, straight lines, thick lines? (display a photo of an art piece by Van Gogh) 
Show: A Brainpop video Story about Vincent Van Gogh, (Play cartoon giving a brief history of Van Gogh, and his inspiration) 
Show: animated videos of art by Vincent Van Gogh. (Use this art: Still Vase, The Night Café, Starry Night) Embed prompting questions throughout the video to describe the art. Examples: What do you think the flowers smell like? What shapes and lines do you see? What colors and shapes do you see? What sounds might you hear? How does this painting make you feel? How would you describe the man?  How does this painting make you feel? Do you think Van Gogh was happy or sad? Describe what you see? Display the challenge: Create your own art project inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, share your project and write a detailed description of your masterpiece.  


Student Instructions

Student Challenge: Create your own Van Gogh inspired art project. Write a descriptive statement about your art piece. Share your masterpiece with others.

Think- Pair- Share- Multiple pieces by Vincent Van Gogh. Students think about similar characteristics in the paintings. Pair up (ideas) & Share with group using descriptive words. Students will read Vincent Van Gogh artistic statements Students will write their own artistic statements using smart art words. Share work on padlet website.

2 Assessment

Free, Paid

Create a Kahoot to assess student learning about thie knowledge of descriptive language.

Student Instructions

Students will complete the quiz