Display one of the images and distribute Looking at Portraits
Have students highlight the following words:
Explain to students that we can "read" a picture just like we read the words in a story.
Explain that they will be reading the story of one of the sitters in the image.
Ask students to work in pairs. Explain that they are each to choose a different
person in the same portrait to focus on. They should start by going through the
highlighted words, "reading" the image as they think of each word, and then
writing one to two sentences on how each word relates to something they see in the
sitter. (For example: I think my sitter's facial expression looks sad and frustrated.
Her gesture, with her hand on her chin, shows she is worried.)
Give students time to write their responses. Then ask them to share with their
partners their discoveries about the different sitters and to try to figure out the
relationship between the sitters. Finally, ask students to discuss what story is being
told in the portrait.
Ask volunteers to share their findings with the class.
Have students write a friendly letter to one of the sitters asking about his or her life. (Download Personal Letter activity sheet, above.)
Ask students to act out a conversation between the different sitters in the portrait.